State Rep. Brad Buckley, R-Salado, on Tuesday appeared to have earned his second term in the Texas House, according to unofficial election returns.

Buckley had 53.4 percent of the vote to Harker Heights Democrat KeKe Williams’ 46.6 percent, according to unofficial figures from the Texas Secretary of State. At least 62,502 votes were cast in this race.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” Buckley told the Telegram late Tuesday. “We still would like to see the rest of everything come in for Bell County. But we have a nice margin with Lampasas. I feel unbelievably blessed and relieved. I’m just waiting for everything to be final.”

This gives Buckley, 54, his second term in the state House.

Williams did not respond to a Telegram request to comment.

In 2018, Buckley won his first term with 53.8 percent of the vote to Democrat Kathy Richerson’s 46.2 percent; 48,394 people cast a ballot in that race.

Williams, 47, was aiming to become the first Democrat to represent District 54 since 1994. The district was one of 22 seats Texas Democrats targeted in an attempt to take control of the House.

The Republican Party has kept this seat in its column since Suzanna Gratia Hupp, a survivor of the 1991 Luby’s shooting in Killeen, was elected in 1996.

Williams, an Army veteran, led in Bell County. She had 51.5 percent of the vote to Buckley’s 48.5 percent, according to unofficial figures from the Bell County Elections Department.

That 3-point margin was not enough to overcome Buckley’s blowout in Lampasas County. He won it with 81.8 percent of the vote to Williams’ 18.2 percent, according to the Texas Secretary of State.

Two years ago, Buckley won 80.9 percent of Lampasas voters.

The race for District 54 was heated in the weeks leading up to Election Day. Both candidates aired commercials on television and online to motivate voters to get to the polls. Hundreds of thousands of dollars flooded both candidates’ coffers.

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