ELECTION DAY UPDATE (11:30 p.m.) -- Texans reelect Republican justices to state Supreme Court
Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson
With 65 percent of statewide votes counted, Texas voters have reelected three incumbent Republicans to seats on the state Supreme Court over Democratic challengers.
Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson received more than 3.4 million votes, or 53.1 percent. Democratic challenger Jim Jordan earned 43.9 percent, with 2.8 million votes.
In Place 7 on the court, Dale Wainwright held onto his seat by receiving 3.2 million votes, o r 51.1 percent. Sam Houston received 2.9 million votes, or 45.9 percent.
The Place 8 seat on the Texas Supreme Court will remain occupied by Phil Johnson, who received 3.3 million votes, or 52.4 percent. Linda Yanez received 2.8 million votes, or 44.6 percent.
Calls to the Jefferson and Wainwright camps were not returned on election night.
Before the cell phone call was lost, Johnson told the Record he was pleased to be reelected.
"I am happy with the confidence Texans have shown in me, and my record," Johnson said from a victory party in Austin. "I am very honored to serve another term."
Justice Dale Wainwright was elected to the Supreme Court of Texas on Nov. 5, 2002, after serving as presiding judge of the 334th Civil District Court in Harris County.
He earned his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, studied at the London School of Economics and earned his undergraduate degree from Howard University, summa cum laude, and serves on the Visiting Committees of the University of Chicago Law School and South Texas College of Law.
On Chief Justice Jefferson's campaign Web site, he stated that he had two primary objectives in the campaign.
"First, I endeavored to respect Texans' desire for a judiciary that must account for its role in the administration of justice," he wrote. "My second objective was to invite a discourse about the manner in which we assign the grave responsibility of administering the third branch of government."
Jefferson has twice was the first African American Justice and Chief Justice on the Supreme Court of Texas. He was appointed to the Court in 2001, making him Governor Perry's first appointment to a statewide judicial office.
Wallace graduated from John Jay High School in 1981, received a bachelor of arts in political philosophy from James Madison College at Michigan State University in 1985, and earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1988 from the University of Texas School of Law. He is board certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Justice Johnson was appointed to the Court on March 15, 2005, by Governor Rick Perry. He was serving as Chief Justice of the Seventh Court of Appeals in Amarillo at the time of his appointment.
In November, 2006 he was elected to fill the remaining two years of the Supreme Court term to which he was appointed. This will be his first full six year term.
In his campaign, Johnson said he will "strictly interpret and apply the law as written, regardless of personal views or the parties involved"
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