Challenger Shelby Slawson was looking to turn out incumbent J.D. Sheffield for the Republican nomination for the District 59 state representative seat Tuesday.
With 39 of 58 polling locations reporting, or 67.2 percent, Slawson was leading Sheffield by more than 3,100 votes, pulling in 46.1 percent of the total to Sheffield’s 29.9. Cody Johnson was in third place with 24 percent.
If Slawson is able to take more than 50 percent of the vote, she will be the district’s new representative, since there is no Democratic opponent in November.
If neither Slawson falls short of the 50 percent-plus-1 total, she and Sheffield will face off in a May 26 runoff.
According to the Texas Secretary of State, as of presstime, Slawson had 8,876 votes to Sheffield’s 5,745. Following behind was Johnson with 4,620 votes.
Slawson, 42, is a Stephenville resident, where she resides with her husband of 22 years and their children. She describes herself as a conservative Christian, a small business owner and attorney, and advocates for those in rural Texas.
Sheffield, who is seeking a fifth term in the Texas Legislature, has been practicing family medicine in and around Gatesville for over 25 years, according to his House website.
Johnson, 51, is a lifelong resident of Erath County, west of Stephenville. He is an entrepreneur and has built five businesses in Erath County. All of the businesses are operated under the Twisted J brand.