By Justin Cox
Killeen Daily Herald
Bell County may have stayed Republican, but the same can't be said for other districts in the state.
With Ralph Sheffield's victory Tuesday over Democrat Sam Murphey, the state Legislature's House District 55 seat will once again be represented by a Republican.
But four of the races in the state turned, according to early voting totals, and the state House was split, 75-75.
By 11 p.m. however, the figure had moved to 77-73 Republican, with a few precincts remaining to be counted. The Dallas County race was separated by just 10 votes at deadline, while another race was separated by 150 votes.
The election of the House speaker becomes even more interesting, as Republican Tom Craddock may not have the same support he once enjoyed.
Unlike in the U.S. House, the speaker is elected, rather than named by the party with the highest representation.
Murphey said he would have liked to have seen his seat make the difference in that number, but he'll just have to watch like everyone else instead of becoming part of it.
"It's going to be fun to be in Austin," Murphey said. "We were down almost 20 seats four years ago, and now it's tied. I think they did well."
Bell County Republican Party Chair Nancy Boston said she hopes the party will continue to be represented well in Austin, but was disappointed that her party lost seats.