In what was arguably the most-watched race in Tuesday’s primary elections, Republicans cast 299 votes in Stasny’s favor and 290 for DeWitt. Former Beeville Mayor Kenneth Chesshir drew 197 votes, which likely caused the runoff between his two Republican opponents.
Stasny, who is seeking her sixth term of office, earned 38 percent of the Republican votes cast in Precinct 2, compared to 37 percent by DeWitt, who oversees the Bee County Community Affairs Department. Chesshir, who retired as mayor of Beeville last year, drew 25 percent of the votes cast.
“I think the voters of Bee County sent a message Tuesday and that message is that they are looking for change and new ideas,” said DeWitt, still excited over his good showing against a public servant who has served five terms in office.
Because no Democrat candidate filed for office, the winner of the runoff election will be elected commissioner of Precinct 2 unless a write-in candidate throws a hat into the ring before the November general election.
Democrats overwhelmingly chose Precinct 4 Commissioner Ronnie Olivares over challenger Porfirio Longoria, who serves as Olivares’ road and bridge supervisor.
Olivares garnered 255 votes, or 63.5 percent of the votes cast in Precinct 4, compared to 146 votes, or 36.5 percent of the votes cast, in favor of Longoria.
Olivares will face Republican challenger Ken Haggard, who drew 240 votes, in the November general election.
In another contested race, longtime U.S. House Rep. Rubén Hinojosa received 85 percent of the Democratic votes cast in House District 15. His challenger in the Democratic primary, Doug Purl, earned 15 percent of the vote.
In the Republican race for District 15, Paul Haring of Victoria drew the most support with 46.6 percent of all votes cast, compared to 24 percent by Eddie Zamora, and 29.6 percent by Daniel Garza. Haring will face Hinojosa in November.
In the race for the 36th Judicial District Court judge, Democratic voters favored incumbent Mike Welborn over challenger Richard Zapata. Welborn drew 1,151 votes (or 54 percent) across the judicial district, which includes the counties of Bee, Live Oak, McMullen, San Patricio and Aransas. Welborn’s opponent in the Democratic primary, Richard Zapata, garnered 894 votes, or about 46 percent of the votes cast.
Bee County voters cast 472 votes in favor of Zapata, compared to 434 for Welborn.
Welborn will face Portland attorney Nathan East, a Republican, eight months from now.
Of the 14,986 eligible voters in Bee County, 2,799, or 18.6 percent, cast ballots in Tuesday’s primary.
Facing off in November are:
U.S. Rep. District 15
Rubén Hinojosa, a Democrat, vs. Paul Haring, a Republican.
State Rep. District 35
Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles, Democrat, vs. Jose Aliseda, Republican. Bee County voters cast 778 ballots in favor of Toureilles and 1,306 Republicans voted for Aliseda.
Judge, 36th Judicial district
Mike Welborn, Democrat, vs. Nathan East, Republican. East collected 1,194 votes in Bee County.
Bee County Judge
David Silva, Republican, vs. Arnold Medina, Democrat. Silva garnered 1,459 votes; Medina earned 647.
Commissioner, Pct. 4
Ronnie Olivares, Democrat, vs. Ken Haggard, Republican.
Anna Marie Silvas, Democrat, vs. Zenaida Silva, Republican. Silvas drew 741 votes on Tuesday; Silva garnered 1,287.
Justice of the Peace, Pct. 3
Abelardo “Abel” Suniga, Democrat, vs. Patricia L. “Patty” Johnson, Republican. Suniga drew 193 votes and Johnson got 278.