Voters pick nominees in local, state runoff elections
FROM STAFF REPORTS
MARBLE FALLS — It looks like Llano County Precinct 3 residents will have a new commissioner take the helm in January after a challenger upended the incumbent in the race for the Republican nomination.
Across the Highland Lakes and Texas on May 24, voters finalized the Democratic and Republican nominees heading into the Nov. 8 general election. And in many local races, the GOP nominee will be the likely elected official as several contests drew no Democratic candidate.
In Llano County, Bill Blackburn won the Republican nomination for the sheriff, holding off James Schilling. Blackburn, the incumbent, garnered 1,305 votes to Schilling’s 468.
In April, Schilling announced he was suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination for the Llano County sheriff’s seat.
While no Democrat has filed to run for Llano County sheriff, Blackburn could face independent candidate R.W. Smith.
Also in Llano County, Precinct 3 voters gave the Republican nod to Mike Sandoval for the Precinct 3 commissioner nomination. Sandoval beat incumbent Ron Wilson.
Sandoval will be the likely Precinct 3 commissioner in January as no Democrat has filed to run for the seat on the November ticket.
In Burnet County, Jim Luther Jr. held off Sam Cox, 747-388, for the Republican nomination for Precinct 1 commissioner.
Roxanne Nelson won the Republican nomination for Precinct 1 justice of the peace with a 578-496 victory over Michael Horton.
In the Precinct 3 commissioner race, Billy Wall beat K. Linvel Baker, 578-290, for the Republican nomination.
And Debbie Bindseil beat “Coach” Larry Berkman, 578-496, for the Republican nomination in the Precinct 4 justice of the peace race.
The Burnet County Republican nominees have no Democratic challengers in the November general election.
Another race that Highland Lakes residents watched closely was the Republican nomination for the District 24 State Senate seat. Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) has served in that spot for many years but announced last year he would not be seeking re-election.
The open seat drew several candidates in the Republican primary in March but came down to Dawn Buckingham and Susan King during the May 24 runoff election.
Buckingham won the nomination 26,413 to 16,645 over King. She will now face Democrat Virginia “Jenny Lou” Leeder in the November general election.
In other statewide races:
• Wayne Christian defeated Gary Gates for the Republican nomination for Texas railroad commissioner.
• Grady Yarbrough defeated Cody Garrett for the Democratic nomination for Texas railroad commissioner.
• Mary Lou Keel beat Ray Wheels for the Republican nomination for Place 2 Court of Criminal Appeals judge.
• Scott Walker beat Brent Webster for the Republican nomination for Place 5 Court of Criminal Appeals judge.
Go to sos.state.tx.us for more statewide election results.