Kathy Richerson, the Democrat who lost the Texas House District 54 seat Tuesday to Dr. Brad Buckley, said the midterm elections were a sign of things to come for Texas Democrats after a slew of close races.

“I think we’re at a tipping point,” Richerson said Wednesday as she recovered from a minor surgery at her home in rural Bell County. “All they have to do is keep working at it.”

Despite winning the Bell County vote, Richerson lost the overall District 54 vote as Buckley pulled nearly 80 percent of the electorate from Lampasas County, according to final, unofficial results.

Buckley, R-Salado, a Killeen veterinarian, gathered 25,924 votes to Richerson’s 22,222, but lost Bell County by almost 1,000 votes.

Richerson said she was not surprised she took Bell County despite results favoring Republicans in the last midterm election in 2014.

“I always thought I would win in Bell County,” Richerson said. “I just believe people will eventually see the things that are going on are not in their best interest.”

January will begin Buckley’s first term at the state Legislature in Austin after defeating incumbent Rep. Scott Cosper, R-Killeen, in a May 22 runoff for the GOP nomination.

Buckley thanked his constituents in a Facebook post late Tuesday.

“You have put your trust in me, and I do not take it lightly,” Buckley said. “I am excited to go to Austin and get started on the important work you’ve tasked me with.”

Buckley, a former Killeen Independent School District board member, ran a campaign focusing on improving Texas public education and boosting the economy in Bell County. Buckley is a co-chairman for the 14 Forward private investment initiative, a Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce push to drive economic growth on the Interstate 14 corridor.

Richerson, a rural goat farmer and former Realtor, by contrast ran a quiet, lightly funded campaign that focused on courting Democrats in heavy-red Lampasas County.

The 86th Texas Legislature its begins its biennial regular session Jan. 8.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

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