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Most Travis County races decided despite low voter turnout

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 by Austin Monitor

Turnout was low Tuesday in the Travis County primary elections with just over 15 percent of registered voters showing up for a long slate of local, regional and statewide candidates. Republicans showed up in slightly larger numbers, with 50,750 voting in the GOP primary, and 38,901 Democrats voting in their primary.


The majority of the races were decided on Tuesday, though there will be a few runoffs in early April.


Attorney Amy Clark Meachum, who ran a bare knuckles campaign against Third Court of Appeals Judge Jan Patterson, finished the race with 68 percent of the vote. Meachum will take the seat of the retiring Judge Suzanne Covington of the 201st District Court.


City Police Monitor Cliff Brown had 71 percent of the vote over his opponent, Bill Gammon, for the Democratic nomination for judge of the 147th District Court.


Mindy Montford led Karen Sage in a four-person race for Judge in the 229th District Court race. Montford had about 45 percent of the vote compared to 37 percent for Sage. Leonard Martinez probably benefited from the fight in the Precinct 4 Commissioner’s race between Margaret Gomez and Raul Alvarez, driving Democratic turnout somewhat higher than it would have been in that part of the county. Martinez finished with about 13 percent of the vote and Eve Schatelowitz Alcantar pulled in 5 percent. Montford and Sage will face each other in a mid-April runoff.


Longtime County Court at Law Judge David Crain soundly defeated Keith Lauerman in the vote for judge in the 331st District Court.


Margaret Gomez, with a 52-48 percent lead, defeated challenger Raul Alvarez, to continue as Travis County Commissioner Pct. 4.


John Lipscombe took a 53-47 percent win over challenger Olga Seelig in the race for Judge in the County Court at Law 3 race.


In the Republican primary, Paul Workman and Holly Turner will be in a runoff in the District 47 House race. The winner will run against Democratic incumbent Rep. Valinda Bolton in November.


Patrick McGuiness beat Ryan Lambert in the GOP race for the District 50 State Representative seat. McGuiness will face Democratic incumbent Mark Strama in November.


In Republican races for the State Board of Education, incumbent Ken Mercer defeated San Antonio attorney Tim Tuggey for SBOE District 5. In other SBOE races, challenger Thomas Ratliff defeated incumbent Don McElroy for SBOE District 9. Closer to home, in the SBOE District 10 race to replace outgoing conservative Barbara Cargill, Brian Russell and Rebecca Osborne will be in a run-off election. District 5 includes southern Travis County and District 10 includes northern Travis County.


On Democratic side of the District 5 SBOE race, Rebecca Bell-Metereau defeated three other candidates—including Daniel Boone—for the chance to face Mercer in November. Bell-Metereau told In Fact Daily last night, “We’re ready for a 21st century education and that’s what’s going to happen in the fall: we’re going to rescue Texas education. I’m hoping we can bring all those people who voted for Tuggey who clearly are not satisfied with the status quo and kick the extremists off the State Board of Education.

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