PRIMARY 2018

Ballot takes shape amid outright wins

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Some races are over, some have just begun.

Following Tuesday's GOP Primary, Gregg County voters have tapped a new District Attorney. Down the road, a four-Republican race for Rusk County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace remains undecided while another Gregg County race was (according to unofficial results) clinched on a single mail-in ballot this week.

The primary run's not over for locals Pat McCrory and Teresa Jones: they're bound for a run-off in May, angling to succeed outgoing Rusk County JP Jerdy Wolverton. Over in Gregg, vying for the Precinct 4 Commissioners Court seat vacated by John Mathis, a final mail-in ballot put contender Kasha Williams at a one-vote lead over Shannon Brown in a 1,037-1,036-ballot race in the Democrat Primary.

Meanwhile, throughout U.S. House District 1, voters will see a familiar ticket come November.

In the upcoming midterm election, seven-term U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert easily-secured his party's nomination over two challengers after the ballots from March 6's Election Day polling were added to early voting tallies from the past two weeks. On the opposite side of the contest, Democrat Shirley McKellar earned another chance to challenge for Gohmert's seat after fending off primary contender Brent Beal.

It's McKellar's fourth attempt to unseat Gohmert, and she secured it Tuesday with 60.42 percent of less than 8,000, collecting 4,806 to 3,148 cast for Beal. Gohmert netted 33,371 of 37,789 ballots cast in the GOP Primary, taking 88.3 percent of the vote over challengers Anthony Culler (8.86 percent) and Rowshin Rowjee (2.82 percent).

Hotly-contested for the past year, the race for Gregg County DA went to the challenger Tuesday: according to unofficial results, 54.73 percent of 9,506 Republican voters backed Kilgore attorney Tom Watson to succeed incumbent Carl Dorrough. With no challenger on the Democrat ticket, Watson win is secured with 5,203 votes to 4,303.

Another Kilgore resident also locked in a victory Tuesday: Trey Hattaway, director of Marketing and Enrollment Management for Kilgore College, notched just more than 60 percent of the vote in a three-way GOP primary to succeed Gregg County District Clerk Barbara Duncan. Contenders Britnie Minor and Jhazmyne C. Johnson drew 32.44 and 7.5 percent, respectively.

Michelle Gilley won her race for County Clerk outright as well with 79.37 percent of the vote against Dugg Burks.

Another Republican secured victory with 66.86 percent of the vote in his race: District 11 State Rep. Travis Clardy is bound for a third-term after defeating fellow Republica Danny ward 6,349 votes to 3,146.

Elsewhere in Rusk County, McCrory just missed a lock in the JP1 race taking 49.85 percent of 995 votes. He'll face Jones in the GOP Primary run-off May 22 – she secured 17.19 percent (171 votes) followed by Charles A. Robinson, Jr. (16.88 percent) and Bob Overman (16.08 percent). The winner between McCrory and Jones will face the Democrat Primary's lone contender, Janice Bagley, in November.

Jana Ross Enloe avoided a run-off in the GOP Primary for Rusk County JP5 with 64.04 percent of the vote against Sharon Patin Florey (29.17) and Jeffery Lynn Frey (6.78 percent). JP2 will see a run-off, however: Republican contenders Cindy Redmon and Bo Pepper are virtually neck-and-neck after the primary, with 459 votes to 458, respectively. The other candidates were Angela Green Bell (314 votes) and William Williams (49).

In the race for Gregg County Commissioner Precinct 4, G. Floyd won the GOP nomination unopposed. It's unclear yet which Democrat he'll face in November: Williams and Brown ended Tuesday in a tie before the week's final ballot, mailed in, put Williams in the lead, with provisional ballots still outstanding.

Also in Precinct 4, Democrats James Mathis and Robby R. Cox are eyeing a run-off for Justice of the Peace – they earned 47.01 percent and 46.53, respectively, Tuesday. Contender Keeth U.K. Johnson is out of the running after netting just 6.46 percent of the vote.

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