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Dukes handily defeats Thompson in ‘nasty’ race

Wednesday, March 5, 2008 by Austin Monitor

Rep. Dawnna Dukes Tuesday pulled off a victory to win the Democrat primary in House District 46, despite a strong and well-funded opponent in Brian Thompson.


Thompson picked up many of the early endorsements in the race in the wake of Dukes’ tax woes, revealed in recent newspaper articles. Last night, though, it was the voters of House District 46 that spoke, and they backed Dukes on a vote of 61-39 percent, with votes in 18 of the 24 precincts  counted around midnight.


“I’m grateful to the people of District 46 for the opportunity to represent them once again in the House of Representatives,” Dukes said from her East Austin campaign headquarters. “I appreciate their confidence and support.”


Thompson hit Dukes hard on a number of issues: her support of Republican Speaker of the House Tom Craddick; her sister’s contract with the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority; the filing of an alleged Ethics Commission complaint against Thompson; and the non-payment of her business taxes.


“What made the difference between us? The nasty style,” Dukes said. “I think that nasty style had an impact on constituents in a couple of ways. Some looked at it and believe it, and others who felt like it went too far.”


Thompson did not return phone calls seeking comment. Dukes admitted she did have some bridge building to do in her district with those constituents who believed Thompson’s message.


“I really tried to take the high road in the campaign,” Dukes said. “I wanted to stay the course and put out a positive message and not get distracted, but, yes, there is a lot of discussion that needs to be done in the district.”

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