John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Nov. 8, 2012, 10:44am

GALVESTON - With nearly 55 per cent of the vote, District 23 State Rep. Craig Eiland gets to keep his seat.

The Democrat and Galveston attorney accumulated 26,732 out the 41,862 total votes to fend off Republican and business owner Wayne Faircloth for the right to continue representing eastern Galveston County and all of Chambers County in Austin.

Eiland has been serving District 23 since redistricting in 2003.

Prior to that, he represented District 24, which encompassed all of Galveston County west of Interstate 45, since his election in 1994.

After his reelection in 2008, he assisted in efforts to convince the University of Texas Board of Regents to keep the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

He ran on a platform advocating leadership over party interests during his most recent campaign, emphasizing the importance of education and safeguarding senior citizens' health care.

Faircloth amassed 15,130 votes, or approximately 36 per cent, against Eiland, whose victory was one of a few notched by Democrats in an area that leaned mostly red in several races.

One of those races in which a Republican emerged victorious was the contest for State Senate District 11.

Five-time District 24 State Rep. Larry Taylor cruised to a win over Pearland resident Jacqueline Acquistapace on the strength of 66,892 votes.

Taylor will be replacing Mike Jackson, who put in a bid for a newly-created congressional seat.

Meanwhile, Friendswood physician Greg Bonnen defeated Dickinson Democrat Rusty Cates for the opportunity to succeed Taylor in District 24.

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