ELECTION DAY UPDATE (9 p.m.) -- Orange County early votes support Republican candidates
While Democrats have pulled ahead in early voting results for Jefferson County, it is a Republican victory by early voters in Orange County.
According the Secretary of State's Web site, 17,297 residents in Orange County cast ballots during the 12 day early voting period.
Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin received 12,493 votes, or 72.22 percent.
The Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden received 4,696 early votes in Orange County, or 27.14 percent.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, the Republican incumbent, had a big lead among early voters with 68.15 percent over Democrat Rick Noriega's 30.07 percent.
U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady held on in the District 8 race, earning 68.59 percent of the early votes. Democrat Kent Hargett received 29.46 percent.
Orange County early voters also favored Republican incumbents Michael Williams for Railroad Commissioner (56.67 percent); Wallace Jefferson for Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court (57.60 percent); Dale Wainwright for Place 7 on the Supreme Court (55.71 percent); and Phil Johnson for Place 8 (61.68 percent).
State Rep. for District 19, Mike Hamilton, was the winner for early voters, earning 58.75 percent over Larry Hunter, 39.18 percent.
In the three-county area of Jefferson, Orange and Hardin counties, 55.5 of early voters favored McCain, with 48,972 votes. Obama received 44.48 percent, with 39,240 votes.