This story has been updated to reflect the results of a recount on Sunday (March 6) in the Presidio County Pct. 3 Commissioner’s race.
Across the Big Bend region, some county-level races were decided in the “Super Tuesday” primaries, others will move on to the general election and one close race will see a recount.
In the Democratic primary in Presidio County, Sheriff Danny Dominguez was elected to another term, defeating challenger Caesar Melendez in a 934 – 613 vote.
Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson also pulled a sweeping victory over his challenger Cornelio Vega, netting 1402 votes to Vega’s 292.
There were no Republican candidates in those two sheriff’s races, but in Jeff Davis County, Republican Bill Kitts will challenge Democrat Ken Watson in the general to replace current sheriff Rick McIvor, who is not running for re-election.
Also in the Brewster County Democratic primary, incumbent Pct. 3 Commissioner Ruben Ortega held on to his seat against challenger Eduardo Vega, winning 312 – 118.
Brewster County Pct. 1 Commissioner Luc Novovitch won against challenger Angie Bermudez and Carlos Lujan, but will go on to face Republican challenger Betse Esparza in the general election.
19th District State Senator Carlos Uresti defeated challenger Helen Media in the Democratic primary, winning about 75% of the vote. He’ll go on to face Republican challenger Peter Flores.
In Presidio County, where there were no Republicans running for county-level races, Pct. 1 Commissioner Jim White lost his seat to challenger Brenda Bently.
Pct. 3 Commissioner Lorenzo Hernandez has retained his seat after winning in the Tuesday primary by just three votes, and then surviving a recount of the vote requested by challenger Saul Pardo, Jr.
The initial vote was 129 – 126 in favor of Hernandez. Presidio County Democratic Party Chair Buck Johnston said after a recount Sunday, Hernandez was still the winner, but still by a narrow margin – the vote was found to be 143 – 135 in favor of Hernandez.
won in a narrow victory over challenger Saul Pardo, Jr. by just three votes – 129 to 126 – but Pardo has requested a recount of the vote. The recount will take place behind closed doors on Sunday (March 5) starting at noon.
In the 83rd District Attorney’s Race, Alpine lawyer Jaime Escuder won his party’s pick over incumbent Rod Ponton. He’ll go on to face Republican challenger Sandy Wilson from Marathon, TX.
Republican 23rd District Congressman Will Hurd scored a comfortable win over his challenger Will Hart, a newly-arrived Marfa resident with a messianic edge to his campaign. Hurd will face a re-math with his predecessor, Democrat Pete Gallego, in the general.
Democratic voters in Presidio and Jeff Davis Counties went with Hillary Clinton for president, though Bernie Sanders was a close second in Jeff Davis County by 8 votes. Brewster County Democrats went for Sanders.
Republicans in Presidio County picked Ted Cruz for president, but the vote was close: 38 went for Cruz, while 32 voted for Trump. (18 chose Marco Rubio, 8 voted for Ben Carson and one person voted for John Kasich.) Republicans in Brewster and Jeff Davis Counties also went for Cruz, with Trump also coming in second in both.
A number of candidates in the Democratic primaries ran unopposed and are not facing challengers in the general election, including 29th District State Sen. Jose Rodriguez, 394th District Judge Roy Ferguson and 74th District State Rep. Poncho Nevárez.