Voters elect Chody sheriff, replace Farney in House seat
By BIRK WILKISON
Super Tuesday surpassed its usual expectations for excitement in Williamson County. The hotly contested Republican presidential nomination contest directly impacted Republican turnout across the state.
In Liberty Hill, the biggest upset of the evening was the defeat of two-term incumbent State Representative Marsha Farney, R-Georgetown, by Terry Wilson of Marble Falls who won the District 20 House race with 54 percent of the vote in Williamson, Burnet and Milam counties.
“Words cannot describe how honored I am to have received the Republican nomination for House District 20,” said Wilson. “Against all odds, our grassroots coalition was able to take on the big money, Austin establishment and win.”
The House race garnered a significant amount of statewide attention as Farney attempted to fend off the loss. Wilson won the seat by almost 3,000 votes. His challenge to Farney appeared to be funded by opponents of Speaker Joe Straus.
Williamson County Precinct 1 Constable and former Austin police officer Robert Chody overwhelmingly defeated his fellow challengers to become Williamson County’s newest Sheriff. Chody earned 58 percent of the vote over four opponents.
Liberty Hill’s role in Super Tuesday
In Precinct 206, the southern half of Liberty Hill, Ted Cruz earned 44 percent of the Republican primary votes for President, followed by Donald Trump’s 28 percent.
On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders won Precinct 206, earning 90 votes to Hillary Clinton’s 87. State Rep. Farney lost Precinct 206, earning only 45 percent of the votes. Over 900 votes in both primaries were cast in Precinct 206.
In Precinct 207, the northern half of Liberty Hill, Clinton won 55 percent of the 241 votes cast in the Democratic Primary. In the Republican Primary, Cruz earned 45 percent of the 1,342 votes cast, followed by Trump’s 28 percent and Marco Rubio’s 13 percent.
Wilson defeated Farney in Precinct 207, with 54 percent of the 1,128 votes cast. There were 1,583 total votes cast between the two parties in Precinct 207.
In Williamson County, with all precincts reporting, Cruz earned 35 percent of the Republican presidential primary votes. Trump came in second with 25 percent of the vote, and Rubio took third place with 21 percent of the vote. Overall, over 67,000 votes were cast in the Republican presidential primary race in Williamson County.
This year’s Republican primary participation was almost double the number of total votes cast in 2012’s Republican presidential primary, highlighting a statewide trend of surging Republican turnout in high-performing Republican counties.
Conservative challenger Shawn Dick successfully unseated Williamson County District Attorney Jana Duty. With over 55,000 votes cast, Mr. Dick won with 55 percent of the vote.
There will be a runoff election for the open seat on the Texas Railroad Commission. Gary Gates and Wayne Christian will be heading to a runoff in May. In Williamson County, Gates earned 21 percent of the vote, and Christian earned 17 percent.
Congressman John Carter (TX-31) handily defeated his primary opponent, Mike Sweeney, with 71 percent of the vote.
For the Texas Supreme Court, Place 3, Justice Debra Lehrmann fended off primary challenger Michael Massengale with 52 percent of the vote. For Place 5, Justice Paul Green narrowly defeated challenger Rick Green by a margin of 52 percent to 47 percent. For Place 9, Justice Eva Guzman earned a strong win over challenger Rick Pool with 59 percent of the vote.
For the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 2, Ray Wheeles and Mary Lou Keel will face off in a runoff election in May. Keel earned 39 percent of the vote, while Wheeles pulled in 35 percent. For Place 5, Scott Walker earned 41 percent of the vote in a four-way contest. Walker will face Brent Webster in the May runoff. For Place 6, Michael Keasler defeated challenger Richard Davis, with a 56 percent.
State Representatives Tony Dale (Cedar Park) and Larry Gonzalez (Round Rock) faced no primary challenge.
In the race for the 395th District Court to replace Judge Michael Jergins, Ryan Larson defeated Terence Davis with 56 percent of the vote.
For County Constable, Precinct 2, Rick Coffman defeated Mike Pendley with 57 percent of the vote.
Super Tuesday was an important milestone for Clinton’s journey towards the Democratic presidential nomination. While Sanders performed competitively in both Williamson and Travis counties, he lost every major urban county in the state, handing a large majority of the Texas delegates to Clinton.
In the race for the Democratic nomination for the open Texas Railroad Commission seat, San Antonio school teacher Grady Yarbrough (no relation to former U.S. Sen. Ralph Yarborough) will face former Texas House Journal Clerk Cody Garrett in the May runoff. Former State Rep. Lon Burnam failed to qualify for the runoff after finishing in third place.
Mike Clark faced no opponent in the Democratic primary for Texas Congressional District 31, and will face Congressman John Carter in the November General Election.
Former candidate for State Representative John H. Bucy III faced no challenger, and will become the newest Chairman of the Williamson County Democratic Party.