Editor’s Note: The following story on Tuesday’s Election Day results, which was first published in the Nov. 5 edition of the San Benito News, has been updated to reflect the final tally.
By MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ
Texans awoke Wednesday morning to a familiar sight as the state remained red, coinciding with a big win for the GOP on Election Day as Republicans took both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
Tuesday also decided the state’s first new governor in 14 years: Republican Greg Abbott. As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, 99.98 percent of precincts statewide reported Abbott having a 59.25 percent lead with 2,744,134 ballots cast in his favor to Democratic candidate Wendy Davis’ 38.94 percent, or 1,829,828 votes. Abbott will now begin an immediate transition from his current role as the state attorney general to governor.
Other gubernatorial candidates included Libertarian Kathy Glass (66,045 votes, 1.41 percent) and Brandon Parmer (18,369 votes, 0.39 percent) of the Green Party.
Abbott will replace Rick Perry, who continues to mull a presidential run, as governor – thus ending the longest gubernatorial stint in Texas history.
Also, Filemon B. Vela, D, won in the U.S. Rep. District 34 race with 25,549 votes to Republican challenger Larry Smith’s 12,582 and Ryan Rowley’s 802.
Counting Election Day votes in Cameron County races was not completed until nearly 10 hours after the polls closed – a delay attributed to the tedious counting of ballots marked incorrectly.
The following are the un-canvassed results.
County Judge Carlos H. Cascos was victorious with 21,126 votes while challenger Joe G. Rivera pulled in 18,164.
Although Cascos, who was clearly pleased with his victory, attributed low numbers at the polls to it being a non-presidential election, he added that the turnout was “a little lower than it was in 2010.”
He believes that some voters have become more cynical over the years and it’s up to elected officials to help restore trust.
The race for Cameron County Constable Precinct 3 had Roel Cavazos, the son of the late Constable Joe Cavazos, winning against Robert Lopez – 3,344 ballots to 2,762.
Cavazos was happy with the voter turnout and expressed gratitude for those who supported him.
Lopez said, “I think we had a low voter turnout.” He felt that due to tough economic times, “some “[some people] are fed up with the system.”
He said “Overall, it was a good, clean race,” but added that he had an “issue” with Cavazos having a Brownsville address, which would mean he lived outside the precinct.
In response, Cavazos said, “That’s one thing he (Lopez) has been trying to do … this whole time. My residence is here in San Benito; my voter registration is from San Benito; my driver’s license is from San Benito. I’ve just been staying here since my dad passed away in January to help out my mom.”
The 357th State District Judge’s race had incumbent Oscar X. Garcia losing to challenger Juan A. Magallanes – 20,421 to 18,300.
Attempts to reach both Magallanes and Garcia for comment were unsuccessful as of press time.
In the race for Los Fresnos CISD Board of Trustees Position 3 Reynaldo Farias pulled in 1,746 votes while Juan Sierra managed 1,176.
Proposition 1, a constitutional amendment “providing for the use and dilation of certain money transferred to the state highway fund to assist in the completion of transportation construction, maintenance and rehabilitation projects, not to include toll roads,” was passed via voter approval on Tuesday.