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Voters return to polls for primary runoff

Published: Monday, July 30, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 18:08


Republicans and Democrats flock to polls today once again to cast their votes in runoff elections to resolve undecided elections from the May primary. 

The next Brazos County district attorney is set to be practically decided in a Republican race between Jarvis Parsons and David Hilburn. Parsons, a prosecutor with the DA’s office, scored 48 percent of the vote in May. Hilburn, a defense attorney and former prosecutor, finished with 22 percent in the original four-person race. 

The Republican winner July will replace the current district attorney who is retiring, Bill Turner, as no Democrat is running. 

Additionally, a Republican nominee to represent the rural Texas State House District 12 will be chosen. This newly created district includes portions of Brazos and McLennan counties and all of Robertson, Falls and Limestone counties. In a close five-person race in May, Calvert lawyer and rancher Tucker Anderson earned 29.5 percent, with Brazos County rancher Kyle Kacal coming in second with 24 percent.

The winner will face Democrat Robert Stem of Waco in November.

Republican statewide candidates include: U.S. Senate, David Dewhurst vs. Ted Cruz; Railroad Commissioner, Christi Craddick vs. Warren Chisum; Railroad Commissioner —  Unexpired, Barry
Smitherman vs. Greg Parker and Justice Supreme Court Place 4, David Medina vs. John Devine.  


The only runoff race for Democrats is the statewide race for the U.S. Senate seat. The two remaining candidates are Paul Sadler and Grady Yarbrough. The victor of this runoff will face the winner of the Republican runoff in the November general election. 


The U.S. Senate seat is open for election due to Kay Bailey Hutchison’s retirement. 


Looking toward the general election in November, candidates are already gearing up for the competition. 


Libertarian party candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives Dist. 17 seat Ben Easton visited Texas A&M University on July 19. Easton will face Republican incumbent Bill Flores in November.  


Joseph Puente, senior telecommunication media studies major, said Easton came for a class project for COMM 460, a course that focuses on analyzing how candidates run campaigns for office. He said they were doing a campaign analysis of the candidate and his plan to run for Congressional District 17.


While visiting, Easton shared his views with the class, explained his campaign strategy and answered students’ questions in relation to their project. 


“I am fiscally conservative and I belong to the NRA, but I am going to be way to the liberal side on some things like sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll,” Easton said in opening. “If you try to label me, I don’t fit in. I speak very strongly and passionately — the one-dimensional spectrum doesn’t work.”


In regards to his strategy, Easton said he is battling the ‘machine parties’ to try to break into the machine. It’s an uphill battle. He said he knows the odds are against him, but he wants to get the message of his party out there. 


Puente said that in their project, as they came up with campaign management plans they became interested in hearing about Easton’s plans to finance his campaign. 


“I do not believe we have the right to do the matching funds stuff. I shouldn’t take from you to subsidize the political process,” Easton said. “I want to do this in $500 of my own money or less. So far, so good.”


Puente said the main thing he took away from Easton’s presentation was Libertarian views may be more common among college students than they think. People who are Libertarian are a lot more ideal and may be more common than people might think, whereas the two main parties have become so polarized nowadays, Puente said. 


“I think if local candidates were to visit universities while campaigning, they would have to get approval, but I think it would be important for them to visit the community and get their name out,” Puente said. “For local elections, they receive the lowest turnout. I think for being in a college town and in the community in general, local candidates should get out there more often for college students.”

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