By CHARLEY WILKISON
On a state runoff election night that was put in place by federal judges after lawsuits over state redistricting were settled by both major political parties, only 10 percent of Liberty Hill’s eligible voters cast ballots on Tuesday. In the two Williamson County voting precincts located in Liberty Hill — precincts 206 and 207 — only 611 voters cast ballots of the 6,191 registered voters.
Those voting were overwhelmingly Republican with only 14 Democrats recording votes in the two precincts combined. Liberty Hill Republican voters mostly followed statewide trends as Ted Cruz defeated Lt. Governor David Dewhurst for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in both precincts, 52 percent to 48 percent and 56 percent to 43 percent, respectively. Cruz also won Williamson County with 54 percent of the vote.
Cruz, the former state Solicitor General, went on to win statewide with 53 percent of the vote.
In the State Supreme Court Place 4 race, John Devine carried 55 percent of the vote to David Medina’s 44 percent in precinct 206. In 207 Devine won 51 percent. In Williamson County, Medina actually won with 53 percent, but across the state Devine won the race by 53 percent.
Another race where Liberty Hill saw it different than the rest of Texas was the Railroad Commissioner Race between State Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, and Christie Craddick of Midland. Chisum won with 65 percent in precinct 206 and 58 percent in precinct 207. In Williamson County, Chisum also won with 54 percent. However, across the state, Republicans saw the race differently and handily elected Craddick, daughter of famed former House Speaker Tom Craddick, by a vote of 60 percent.
In the Railroad Commission’s unexpired seat, incumbent Barry Smitherman won with 57 percent and 65 percent in Liberty Hill precincts against against Greg Parker. Those trends continued across the state as Smitherman won the statewide election with 62 percent of the vote.
In the regional State Board of Education District #10 race, Liberty Hill area voters helped to run up the score for Tom Maynard as he bested Rebecca Osborne with 62 percent of the vote in precinct 206 and 69 percent of the vote in precinct 207. However, the race turned into a squeaker as Maynard went on to barely win the election with less than 900 votes with a final district wide tally of 50.62 percent to 49.37 percent.
As for the Democrats, former State Rep. Paul Sadler, D-Henderson, won with 62 percent of the vote over Grady Yarborough, a retired teacher from San Antonio.
In Precinct 207, Sadler won with 100 percent of the votes cast. Sadler won statewide with 63 percent of votes. Sadler will face Cruz in the General Election in November.
No Democratic candidate has been elected statewide in Texas since 1994.