Wisenbaker, Reed win GOP nods for commissioner posts

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

March 5, 2008 - Republicans in Hopkins County on Tuesday selected incumbent Beth Wisenbaker to run against Democrat John "J.W." Ragan in the election for Precinct 1 Commissioner, while Ronald "R.D." Reed defeated Phillip Anderson to become the Republican Party's candidate to face incumbent Democrat Don Patterson for the Precinct 3 County Commissioner seat, according to the unofficial county count as of Tuesday night.

Wisenbaker received 64.71 percent of the votes cast in the Republican primary for Precinct 1, while candidate Will Woods earned 35.29 percent of the vote. Overall, 782 Republican cast ballots in the race, 276 for Woods and 506 for Wisenbaker.

John "J.W." Ragan, who was unchallenged on the Democratic ticket for the Precinct 1 County Commissioner's seat, received 793 votes.

Reed beat out Anderson 233 votes to 221 votes, a 2.64 percent margin, to become the Republican Party candidate for Precinct 3 County Commissioner. Reed will face off against Democratic incumbent Don Patterson in the general election. Patterson, unchallenged for the Democratic nomination, received 842 votes.

Turnout was strong. According to the Texas Secretary of State, 20.88 percent of the county's 21,200 registered voters showed up for the Democratic Party presidential primary alone. Early ballot totals in the county were for the most part consistent with election day and final tallies, according to the unofficial cumulative election day totals compiled by the county clerk's office.

Incumbent Charles "Butch" Adams will face Republican challenger Norman R. Sanders for the county sheriff's job. Both were uncontested for their party's nominations in Tuesday's primary election. Adams received 3,552 votes from Democrats, while Sanders received 1,550 votes from Republicans. Other local contested races in the November general election are for 62nd Judicial District Judge, District 3 State Representative and District 4 U.S. Representative.

In Hopkins County, 79.01 percent or 1,811 Republican voters selected incumbent Ralph M. Hall as their choice for District 4 rep. Republican Gene Christensen received 189 votes, Kathy Seei 147 votes, Kevin George 107 votes and Joshua Kowert 38 votes in Hopkins County. When all counties in the district had handed in their unofficial counts Tuesday night, Hall had received 42,212 of the 57,530 votes cast by Republicans for District 4 rep. Christenberry garnered a total of 5,556, George 3,035, Kowert 857 and Seei 5,870.

Hall now faces Democrat Glenn Melancon in November. While Democratic Party candidate VaLinda Hathcox won the battle with Melancon in her home of Hopkins County, Melancon won the war for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Representative, District 4, nomination.

In Hopkins County, Hathcox received 2,691 votes and Glenn Melancon 1,117 votes for the District 4 U.S. rep. nomination. However, district-wide, Hathcox was defeated by Melancon, 37,409 to 2,752 votes for the Democratic Party nomination for U.S. Representative, District 4.

Unchallenged for their parties' nominations, incumbent Democratic nominee Mark Homer will once again face Republican challenger Kirby Hollingsworth in the election for District 3, State Representative. In Hopkins County, Hollingsworth received 1,757 votes and Homer 3,3369 votes.

Homer, seeking a sixth term in the state house, has defeated Hollingsworth in the last two November elections for the post.

Similarly, Republican Erwin A. Cain and Democrat Scott McDowell will face off for 62nd Judicial District Judge. Neither was opposed for their party's nomination. Cain received 1,638 votes and McDowell 3,118 votes.

Democrat incumbents Martin Braddy, 8th Judicial District Attorney; Debbie Hogue Jenkins, county tax assessor-collector; Dusty Hyde Rabe, county attorney; Larry Argenbright, Precinct 2 Constable; and Roger "Tex" Maynard, Precinct 1 Constable;, were unchallenged in their bids for reelection to their posts, as was Republican Robert Newsom in his bid for reelection as 8th Judicial District Judge.

Republican Chris Brown and Democrat Bill Brannon were also once again approved as county chairmen for their parties.

In the presidential races, Hopkins County voters agreed with the rest of the state in one race but not the other.

Reflecting the state choice, the majority of Hopkins County Democrats selected Hillary Clinton as their pick for presidential candidate.

Statewide, 1,453,139 Democrats picked Clinton, 1,354,672 Barack Obama, 29,808 John Edwards, 10,667 Bill Richardson, 5,297 Joe Biden and 3,718 Christopher J. Dodd. According to the Secretary of State web site, that gave Clinton 65 delegates and Obama 61.

Of the 4,428 Hopkins County Democrats casting ballots, 2,898, or 65.45 percent, picked Clinton, while Obama garnered 1,385, or 31.28 percent, of county votes cast. Edwards had 105 (2.37 percent), Biden and Richardson 15 each (0.34 percent), and Dodd 10 county votes (0.23 percent).

The Republican presidential nomination in Hopkins County did not reflect the state's ultimate choice. Mike Huckabee received 1,328 votes in Hopkins County while John McCain received 1,040. At the state level, McCain received 707,622 votes, earning him 80 delegates, while Huckabee received 521,950 votes and 16 delegates state-wide.

Republican candidates Alan Keyes received 14 votes in Hopkins County and 8,571 state-wide, Fred Thompson 16 in Hopkins County and 11,786 state-wide, Mitt Romney 32 in Hopkins and 27,579 state-wide, Duncan Hunter 3 in Hopkins and 8,254 overall, Ron Paul 78 Hopkins and 69,824 Texas, Hugh Court 1 Hopkins and 918 Texas, Rudy Giuliani 4 Hopkins and 6,169 state, Hoa Tran none in Hopkins and 623 Texas.

In Hopkins County 25 Republicans were uncommitted for president, while a total of 17,611 Texan Republicans were uncommitted.

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