ELECTION DAY UPDATE (8:30 p.m.) -- Dems sweep challengers in Jefferson County early voting

Marilyn Tennissen Nov. 4, 2008, 2:38pm

Early voting results for Jefferson County are in, and Democrats have swept the ballots in every race where they face a Republican challenger.

Polls closed at 7 p.m. and early voting totals posted on the Texas Secretary of State's Web site show the only Republicans, including incumbents, to be favored by Jefferson County early voters are in races where they faced no Democrat but only a Libertarian candidate.

The Democratic ticket for president and vice president of Barack Obama and Joe Biden received 33,704 early votes from 117 county precincts, or 52.76 percent of 63,879 votes cast.

Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin received 29,884 early votes, or 46.78 percent of 63,879 votes.

Forty-two percent of the county's 151,659 registered voters took part in early voting.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican, trailed Democrat Rick Noriega by around 4,000 early votes in Jefferson County. Cornyn received 28,764 votes, or 46.23 percent. Noriega received 32,723 votes, or 52.6 percent.

One of the few Republicans claiming support in early votes is District 2 U.S. Rep. Ted Poe. The incumbent received 33,360 votes, or 88.95 percent of the 37,504 votes cast. Libertarian Craig Wolfe received 4,144 votes, or 11.04 percent.

For Railroad Commissioner, Michael Williams, the Republican incumbent, received 24,706 votes from early voters in Jefferson county, or 40.63 percent. Democrat Mark Thompson received 35,018 votes, or 57.60 percent of the 60,795 early votes cast in the race.

For chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court, Republican incumbent Wallace Jefferson trails Democrat Jim Jordan.

Jordan received 34,598 votes from early voters in Jefferson County, or 56.87 percent of 60,830 votes cast. Jefferson garnered 24,870 votes, or 40.88 percent of early votes.

In the race for Supreme Court Justice, Place 7, Democrat Sam Houston pulled ahead with 35,367 early votes in the county, or 58.09 percent of 60,874 votes cast. Incumbent Dale Wainwright, a Republican, received 24,565 votes, or 40.35 percent.

Place 8 on the Texas Supreme Court went to Democrat Linda Reyna Yanez in early votes. She received 34,134 votes, or 56.35 percent of 60,572 early votes cast for the race in Jefferson County.

Jefferson County early voters also favored Democrats for judges on the court of criminal appeals in two races. In Place 9, Republican incumbent Cathy Cochran has held on to her seat on the court with 84 percent of the vote against a Libertarian challenger.

The area's incumbent to the State Board of Education, Republican David Bradley, did not pick up the most votes from Jefferson County early voters. He received 39 percent of the votes, to Democrat Laura Ewing's 59 percent.

Long-time District 22 State Representative Joe Deshotel was again favored by voters in Jefferson County. The Democrat received 20,905 early votes, or 96 percent of 21,776 votes cast. His only challenger was Libertarian Dean Tucker.

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