Clinton wins Texas primary, but county backs Obama

Marilyn Tennissen Mar. 6, 2008, 7:39am

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was declared the winner of the Texas Democratic primary March 4, but Jefferson County had a clear case of "Obama Mania."

Statewide Clinton, a U.S. senator from New York, had 50.89 percent of Texas votes, compared to Obama's 47.36 percent.

However, Jefferson County voters joined the state's major urban centers in support of Barack Obama, a U.S. senator from Illinois.

Obama won Jefferson County with 57 percent of the votes. He also won in Dallas, Houston, Austin and suburban areas around San Antonio.

Clinton carried other Southeast Texas counties, including Orange County, where she earned 61 percent of the votes. She also had 50-60 percent of the votes in Chambers, Hardin, Jasper, Liberty, Newton and Tyler counties.

In the Republican primary, 53 percent of Jefferson County voters supported John McCain, a U.S. senator from Arizona. With a Tuesday victory in Ohio, McCain became the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee earned 32 percent of Jefferson County Republican voters. He officially dropped out of the race after losses in Ohio and Texas.

Only 7,653 voters cast ballots in the Republican presidential primary in Jefferson County, a showing of 5.2 percent of the county's 147,160 registered voters.

That is compared to a 29 percent turnout for the Jefferson County Democratic primary, with 42,686 votes being cast in the presidential race between Obama and Clinton.

For U.S. Senator, Rick Noriega won among four Democrats for a ballot spot against Republican incumbent John Cornyn in November.

Noriega, a state representative, earned 1,107,777 votes statewide, or 51 percent. He defeated Gene Kelly, Ray McMurrey and Rhett Smith.

However in Jefferson County, it was Gene Kelly who danced away with the lead, earning 32 percent of the votes over Noriega's 29.7 percent.

In other races

Sam Houston, a trial lawyer from the Houston area (not to be confused with the hero of San Jacinto), secured the Democratic nomination for Texas Supreme Court, Place 7.

Statewide, Houston earned 1,127,809 votes, or 55.88 percent. His Democratic opponent, Baltasar Cruz, earned 890,000 votes or 44.11 percent.

Houston carried Jefferson County, where he brought in 72 percent of the votes.

He will face Republican incumbent Dale Wainwright in November.
Linda Yanez defeated Susan Criss for the Democratic nomination for the Place 8 seat on the Texas Supreme Court.

Yanez, a South Texas appeals court judge, received 1,026,991 votes or 51.44 percent statewide. Criss, a Galveston County district court judge, earned 969,204 votes, or 48.55 percent.

Criss carried most of the Southeast Texas counties however. Here in Jefferson County, Criss received 58.75 percent of the votes, or 14,848 votes cast. Yanez earned 41.24 percent, or 10,423 votes.

Criss also led in Orange and Galveston counties, where she brought in around 80 percent of the votes.

Yanez will face Republican incumbent Justice Phil Johnson in November. She carried the primary election with strong showings in many counties in South Texas where she serves on the appeals court.

For Texas Railroad Commissioner, a position which is responsible for regulating the state's oil and gas industry, former Austin policeman Mark Thompson won 48 percent of the Democratic votes statewide. He defeated Dale Henry, with 27.7 percent, and Art Hall, with 23.97 percent.

Thompson's lead in Jefferson County was substantial. He earned 15,758 votes, or 62.78 percent.

Republican incumbent Michael Williams will face Thompson in November.

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