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Midterm results: County turnout bucks statewide low

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By Chris Edwards
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Editor’s note: This story reflects the final unofficial vote totals from Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 8). The version that went to press in the last edition reflected the available totals at press time, which were the tabulations from the precinct boxes.

TYLER COUNTY – When all was said and done after a long midterm election season in Tyler County, the county elected a new county judge by a decisive margin, and several other races, ranging from mayoral to school boards, were decided by voters across the county.

Republican nominee Milton Powers won the office of County Judge, with 4,699 votes, of 66% of the election. Powers’s Democratic challenger Wesley Whitman earned 11% of the vote, or 747 votes and write-in Republican Neil Alderman earned 23%, or 1,651 votes.

Alderman was not the only write-in candidate to earn a good number of votes in this midterm. Amanda Radke Hastings challenged incumbent Buck Hudson for the office of Pct. 4 Commissioner and earned 169 votes to Hudson’s 958.

According to statewide totals, voter turnout dropped, with a little more than 45% of the state’s registered voters turning out to the polls. Figures from Secretary of State John Scott’s office show Tyler County voters doing better than that, with 50.1% of the county’s registered voters making their voices heard at the polls.

Statewide, Republicans continued to dominate elections, with Gov. Greg Abbott winning a third term over Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke.

Tyler County voters overwhelmingly re-elected Abbott, with 87% of the county’s voters filling in the bubble for the governor to O’Rourke’s 13% showing, or 813 votes.

County voters also decided to send its own congressional representative Brian Babin (R-Woodville) back to Washington, D.C., with 6,357 votes over Democratic challenger Jon Haire’s 809.

In city elections, Woodville named a new mayor, with Amy Bythewood winning 35% of the vote over incumbent Paula Jones’s 33%. Other challengers Michael G. Maness won 21% and Sarah Stephens 12%.

Kelly Dillard won re-election to the Woodville City Council, with 313 votes to Lori Benthall’s 187. Mike Cabaniss won the seat of Alderman Place 4 on the council with 275 votes to Elizabeth Grammer’s 214.

Warren ISD voters voted for unchallenged incumbents Billie Read and Steve Moore with 1,859 and 1,830 votes, respectively. Kimen Johnson, incumbent in Position 6 on the Warren ISD board, won with 42% of the vote over challengers Calvin Wallet and Marianne Pate, and Blake Burkett earned 1,671 votes to Position 7.

The City of Ivanhoe elected a new mayor, with Skip Blackstone earning 51% of the vote over incumbent Cathy Bennett’s 40% and challenger Bob Stoneman’s 9%.

For the at-large seat on the Ivanhoe City Council, incumbents Will Warren earned 34% of the vote, along with John Craven’s 31% and challenger Carolyn Williams won 35%.

Spurger ISD voters elected incumbent Forrest Anderson over challenger Jessica Hensarling, with Anderson netting 63% of the votes over Hensarling’s 38%. Brent Marcum and Paul Bingham each ran unopposed for Positions 6 and 7 on the Spurger board, respectively.

The Colmesneil ISD Board of Trustees elected Bo Bendy and Jacob Adaway to a three-year term on the board in the at-large position with 31% of the vote each over challengers Brandon Martin (22%) and Eric Lee (17%).

Chester ISD’s school board election saw Sam Handley earn 226 votes; Josh Clarke 211; Jesse Gay 189 and Ray McKnight 149.

Woodville ISD’s school board election saw incumbent John Wilson win another term to Place No. 6 with 51% over challengers Kevin McQueen’s 26% and Ben Shepherd’s 23%. Josh McClure also won another term to Place No. 7 with 67% of the vote over Eleanor Holderman’s 33%.

Voters also approved the local adoption of a stock law on the ballot with 72% for it and 28% against.

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