Multiple races did not provide a clear victory during the primary elections Tuesday night, resulting in several runoff races. A runoff occurs when no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes cast, so the top two candidates face off in a second race at a later date. The state has set May 22 as the date for runoff elections.
Early voting will begin May 14 and last until May 18.
Winners of the primary will advance to the Nov. 6 general election.
Perhaps the biggest race in the area, House District 54, is one of the many races heading to a May runoff. Incumbent Rep. Scott Cosper, R-Killeen, will be facing off against newcomer Brad Buckley. Cosper received 4,472 votes — or 44.56 of the ballots — to Buckley’s 4,173 votes (41.58 percent). Larry Smith came in third and will not be part of the runoff.
Cosper, a first-time state representative and former mayor of Killeen, faced Buckley, a veterinarian and former Killeen school district board member, and Smith, a retired Army captain and contractor.
“The Primary Election is over and we have won with almost 46 percent of the vote,” Cosper said on his campaign website. “However, this falls short of the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff, therefore we will regroup and continue our good news story of our accomplishments and vision for House District 54.”
Buckley also remained positive after the results of the primary came in.
“I am so thankful to everyone that came out and voted for me in the Republican Primary and I’m overwhelmed by the support of my amazing family and friends,” he said on his campaign page. “Now I’ll need your help again as we head into the runoff election to be held May 22.”
House District 54 covers most of western Bell County and Lampasas County. Cosper and Buckley largely split Lampasas County with 42.02 percent and 42.24 percent of the electorate, respectively.
The Republican nominee will go on to face Democrat Kathy Richerson, who ran unopposed, in the Nov. 6 general election.
The race for Bell County commissioner Precinct 2 will also see a runoff election. Republican incumbent Tim Brown will face Bobby Whitson in the May 22 election. Brown received 44.46 percent of the vote while Whitson received 33.23 percent.
Brown has been a county commissioner for six terms. He blamed leadership at the Texas Legislature for a large amount of unfunded mandates. He said in an interview earlier this month that county growth, road maintenance, restricting the size of county government and unfunded mandates from the state are among his top priorities.
Whitson is the president of the Greater Central Texas Federal Credit Union, and said that his experience as a banker gives him a unique vantage point.
The county saw several close races, and three will go into the runoff election in May. The county judge, district clerk and county treasurer races will all have runoffs.
In the county judge race, none of the six candidates received 50 percent of the vote in a very close race.
Janice Gray had 1,135 votes or 23.22 percent and will face a runoff against Roger Miller, who had 1,105 votes of 22.6 percent.
Another runoff will take place in the district clerk race. Becky Moore achieved 48.55 percent or 2,270 votes and will run against Jeremy Pruitt, who had 24.66 percent or 1,153 votes.
The third runoff election will be for county treasurer. Randi McFarlin received 1,749 votes, or 38.04 percent of the total. Cindy Hitt came in a close second, with 35.82 percent, or 1,647 votes.
Three Lampasas races will also be facing runoffs. Still to be decided are Republican nominations for district judge, Precinct 2 county commissioner and district clerk.
Larry W. Allsion and Randy Hoyer will compete in a runoff election for the county judge’s seat. Allison received 43.09 percent of vote with 1,374 votes, and Hoyer got 42.18 percent with 1,345 votes.
Jamie Smart and Ron Farr will have a runoff election for the Precinct 2 county commissioner seat. Smart pulled 38.9 percent of ballots with 473 votes, and Farr got 32.57 percent with 396 votes.
Edith Wagner Harrison and Trina Wykes Hudson will compete in a runoff election for the position of district clerk. Harrison drew 35.5 percent of the vote with 1,103 votes, and Hudson got 32.28 percent with 1,003 votes.
U.S. District 31
Two Democrats will go to a runoff election May 22 in the hopes of facing eight-term U.S. District 31 Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, who won his primary in a landslide Tuesday.
District 31 encompasses a section of the Interstate 35 corridor, Killeen and most of Fort Hood.
Democrat Mary Jennings “M.J.” Hegar, of Cedar Park, an Air Force veteran and author, received the largest cut of the electorate among the group of four challengers with 13,848 votes, or 44.9 percent.
“So humbled by the faith the voters ... have placed in me,” Hegar said in a Twitter post Tuesday. “While we ... are going into a runoff, our double digit win tonight so close to 50% is a direct reflection of the hard work and talent of my team.”
Hegar will face off against Dr. Christine Eady Mann of Cedar Park, a family physician, who finished Tuesday with 10,340 votes, or 33.5 percent.
“I am honored to have been chosen by the voters in my district to be in the runoff for the Democratic nomination in Texas Congressional District 31,” Mann said in a news release. “Many have asked what my reason was for entering this race. I have 10,000 reasons why I am passionate about representing the people of our district. 10,000 patients that I have served on the front lines of healthcare for over 20 years.”
U.S. District 25
Two Austin Democrats in the May runoff will vie for the nomination to run against incumbent Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, who was unopposed in Tuesday’s primary.
Criminal defense attorney Chris Perri — one of five Democrats in the primary — received the most votes Tuesday with 13,896, or 32.8 percent of the electorate.
“I’ll continue to talk to voters about how we can ensure that everyone’s voices are heard,” Perri told the Herald Wednesday. “That’s the only way we’re going to achieve the positive progressive reforms of universal health care, gun violence prevention, educational opportunities for everyone, environmental protection, and compassionate immigration reform.”
Attorney and medical professional Julie Oliver took second with 11,220 votes, or 26.5 percent.
Oliver said Wednesday she would continue campaigning on health care and veterans rights.
“Our strategy over the coming months is straightforward,” Oliver said in a news release. “We’re going to keep traveling up and down and across the entire length and width of District 25, visiting every single one of the 13 counties in the district, and listening to everyone we meet.”