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Travis results: Huber vs. Daugherty again; Lehmberg, Hamilton win

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 by Michael Kanin

As expected, County Pct. 3 incumbent Democrat Karen Huber is headed for a rematch with former Republican Pct. 3 Commissioner Gerald Daugherty.


Huber took in nearly 80 percent of the vote in her primary victory over Albert Gonzales. She told In Fact Daily that she was looking forward to the fall race. “I’m ready for the rematch,” she said. “I did it before and I’ll do it again. (I’m) ready to continue the work I’ve laid the foundation for.” 


Daugherty beat a field of three challengers on his way to the general election. Though former Eanes ISD School Board member Jim Strickland gave admirable chase with more than 30 percent of the vote, Daugherty pulled away in the end. Daugherty did not return a request for a comment.


According to the most recent fundraising documents filed with the county, Huber had roughly $108,000 on hand at the end of the primary collecting period. Daugherty had just under $38,000. Still, it is a long way to election day. 


Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg is assured of another term in office as she received 74 percent of the vote compared with just 26 percent for her opponent, Charlie Baird. She does not face a Republican challenger this fall.


Sheriff Greg Hamilton also easily defeated his opponent, getting 73 percent of the final vote vs. John Sisson’s 27 percent in a race with few issues other than the number of illegal immigrants being deported from Travis County. Hamilton will face Republican candidate Raymond Frank, who was unopposed.


In Pct. 1, longtime incumbent Travis Commissioner Ron Davis held on to beat a field of three challengers in what turned out to be something of a more difficult race than it first appeared. In the end, he took in just over the 50 percent mark needed to avoid a runoff. “I had four candidates, my goodness gracious, and that is really a tough situation when you have that many candidates,” Davis told In Fact Daily.


Davis suggested that, after watching the early voting returns, indications were that “the community thus far has sent a strong message in the early boxes…that they want to continue what we’re doing, and that is to bring the kind of quality of life in this community that’s been ignored…for a long time.”


He later pointed out that 40 percent of the bond funds approved by Travis County voters in a large 2011 bond election went to projects in Precinct 1. “We’re talking about over $90 million for a lot of things that we have been able to deal and fill a void on,” Davis said.


Davis saw a protest endorsement from the Austin American-Statesman go to retired City of Austin Public Works department employee and former peace office Arthur Sampson. That helped Sampson little as he drew just about 12.5 percent of the vote. “We worked real real hard in trying to bring out all of the facts (about) what has been going on in East Austin,” Sampson told In Fact Daily. Sampson pointed to unmet basic infrastructure needs and what he called “illegal dumping.”


“So many things in East Austin need to be taken care of,” said Sampson, who ended up last in the Pct. 1 tally. Both Pflugerville Mayor Pro Tem Victor Gonzales (18 percent) and Del Valle School Board member Richard Franklin (16 percent) finished ahead of Sampson.


Democrats selected David Wahlberg over Efrain De La Fuente to be the new judge of the 167th District Court. Wahlberg had more than 55 percent of the vote in the two-man race.


In the hotly contested Democratic primary race for Precinct 2 Constable, incumbent Adan Ballesteros will face Michael Cargill in a runoff on July 31. Cargill, who is little known locally, was identified in a recent New York Times story as a “gay, black gun store owner.” The story said Cargill has the backing of the super PAC Liberty for All, which supports presidential candidate Ron Paul and those of like mind. On the Republican side, Toby Miller beat Al Herrera with more than 59 percent of the vote.


Sally Hernandez, chief investigator in the District Attorney’s office, defeated incumbent Pct. 3 Constable Richard McCain. Hernandez took more than 58 percent of the vote after winning numerous endorsements, including from the South Austin Democrats. She will face Mike Varela in November.


Pct. 4 Constable Maria Canchola will maintain her job, beating opponent Ernest Pedraza with more than 59 percent of the vote. She does not have a Republican opponent.  


For the complete final results, check the Travis County Clerk Elections Division website:

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