Sevier, Russo, Whitten declared winners in local GOP Run-Off Elections
ROCKWALL - The unofficial results are in and Cliff Sevier (left), Mark Russo and Liana Bell Whitten were declared the winners of their respective Republican Run-Off Elections tonight by the County Elections Department.
Former three-term Rockwall City Council member Cliff Sevier squeezed by former Rockwall Mayor Bill Cecil in the County Commissioner Pct. 1 race to replace outgoing Jerry Wimpee by 161 votes out of a total of 2,755 votes cast. Sevier received 1,453 votes ((53%) to 1,302 (47%) for Cecil.
Cecil had more votes in the May 29 Primary Election but did not receive the required 50 percent of the vote, forcing the Run-Off.
Current third-term City Council Member Mark Russo maintained the lead he had in the Primary, squeaking by former County Judge Chris Florance in the campaign for the new Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 position. Russo received 781 votes (56%) to Florance’s 624 votes (44%).
In Royse City, Liana Bell Whitten, former Chief Felony Administrator in the District Attorney’s Office and daughter of former County Judge Bill Bell, barely beat former long-term Justice of the Peace David Karr in the race for Justice of the Peace in the new Precinct 4 by just 25 votes – 650 to 625 votes. No word yet on whether there will be a recount since results are still unofficial.
In statewide races, attorney Ted Cruz led Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst locally in the U.S. Senate race to replace retiring Kay Bailey Hutchison, by 59 to 41 percent. Cruz was just declared the statewide winner of the race by the Associated Press with about 50 percent of the vote counted.
For Railroad Commissioner, Christi Craddick received more votes locally than Warren Chisum and Barry Smitherman received more than Greg Parker. Craddick received 68 percent of the vote and Smitherman 58 percent. Both candidates were declared the winners statewide, as well.
In judicial races, John Devine defeated incumbent Texas Supreme Court justice David Medina. In Rockwall County, Devine received 56 percent of the vote.
Attorney Bill Whitehill received 60 more votes than Judge David Evans out of 6,298 votes cast in Rockwall County in the race for Fifth Court of Appeals Justice Place 2, but Judge Evans won the contest with 51 percent of the vote.
In the Democrat Party, Paul Sadler was declared the statewide winner. He also received more votes locally than Grady Yarbrough, 202 to 77.
Since there are no Democrat candidates in any of the above races, except U.S. Senate, the winners will be sworn in to their respective offices in early January. Cruz will battle Sadler in the Nov. 6 nationwide election.
Only 7,862 (16%) of the 46,645 registered voters in Rockwall County showed up to cast ballots.
By J.J. Smith