UPDATE (11 p.m.): Yanez still ahead of Criss in primary

Marilyn Tennissen Mar. 4, 2008, 5:57pm

Linda Yanez

With just over 50 percent of precincts reporting in the Democratic primary, Linda Yanez is maintaining her statewide lead over Susan Criss for a seat on the Texas Supreme Court.

As of 11 p.m., Yanez had earned 50.47 percent of the vote, with 706,717 votes from the 54 percent of precincts reporting. Criss had 49.52 percent, or 693,467 votes.

The two are vying for the Democratic nomination for justice of Place 8 on the state's highest court, hoping to unseat Republican incumbent Justice Phil Johnson in November.

However, Criss, a judge of the 212th District Court in Galveston County, is showing early leads in several Southeast Texas counties where she has garnered support from the area's trial attorneys.
She leads in Galveston County with 73.39 percent, or 20,323 votes, to Yanez' 26.61 percent or 7,368 votes.

Jefferson County is showing its support for Criss, but less than 5 percent of the precinct votes are in. So far, Criss has 59.28 percent of the votes, or 9,436 votes, while Yanez has 6,483 votes or 40.72 percent.

Orange County is showing 92 percent of its precinct totals, and in that county Criss is also ahead. She has 8,477 votes or 80.81 percent. Yanez has 2,012 percent or 19.18 percent.

In Houston's Harris County, Criss is falling behind, but only 2 percent of precinct votes have been counted. Criss has 55,919 votes, or 45.36 percent; while Yanez has 67,358 votes or 54.63 percent.

But in South Texas, where Yanez became the first Hispanic woman to serve on an appeals court in Texas and currently serves as a justice on the appeals court serving the Corpus Christi area, Yanez has a strong lead.

Yanez has earned 25,332 votes in Nueces County, or 69.34 percent. Criss has earned 11,201 votes there, or 30.65.

More than 80 percent of the votes tallied in Hidalgo County by 11 p.m. were cast for Yanez. She earned 40,557, or 81.86 percent. Criss had 8,987 votes, or 18.13 percent.

Texas election officials will likely be tabulating primary votes throughout the night, so check with the Record for more information as it becomes available March 5.

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