Pecos County will have a new commissioner in Precinct 2 next year as challenger Robert Gonzales defeated incumbent Lupe Dominguez in Tuesday's Democratic Primary election.
While early voting turnout was robust in other parts of the state, the predicted electoral wave didn't quite reach West Texas shores, with just 1,455 people showing up to the polls out of approximately 8,000 registered voters for the county. That equals a roughly 18 percent turnout.
Democratic Primary turnout was 749 voters, which helped to propel Gonzales in his victory, with 192 votes and a 52.75 percent share of the total, ensuring him a clear path to the November general election. Dominguez came in second with 117 votes, and former councilman and commissioner Juan Rodriguez scored 55 votes.
At his election night gathering, Gonzales was busy fielding calls after his win as friends and family celebrated the good news around him.
“I feel great,” he said. “I'd like to thank the voters for their support.”
Gonzales will face Ruben Falcon in November for the commissioner's spot. Falcon was unopposed in his Republican Primary race.
On the GOP side, 706 voters showed up countywide to select their choices up and down the ballot. While nothing was on the line locally, voters here did pretty much mirror statewide wins from Republican incumbents. Pecos County voted for Senator Ted Cruz with 613 votes, Governor Greg Abbott with 624, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick with 480, Land Commissioner George P. Bush with 386 and Ag Commissioner Sid Miller with 312 votes. All of those candidates won their races without the need for a statewide runoff.
For U.S. Representative, Republican Will Hurd easily won his primary, with 571 votes coming locally and 24,856 votes across District 23. He will face either Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones or teacher Rick Treviño in November.
County Democrats didn't stray far from Texas tallies, either. For the gubernatorial race, Lupe Valdez scored over 50 percent of the county ballots with 288 votes followed by Andrew White with 99 votes. Those two will face off again in a runoff scheduled for May 22.
For U.S. Senator, Sema Hernandez won here with 262 votes over heavily favored U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who garnered 248. However, O'Rourke did win across Texas and will face Cruz in November, which promises to be quite the affair once that race gets fired up.
This year, Texas had the first-in-the-nation primary, which was being watched closely by political pundits and prognosticators trying to decipher the mood of the nation. Talk of the long-predicted “blue wave” or “purple flood” in Texas elections may have to wait until November to see if the rains really do come for statewide Democrats — who haven't won a statewide office since 1994 — or if Republicans will continue their stronghold on state leadership positions.
All vote totals in Pecos County are processed by the county clerk and are unofficial until all mail-in ballots have been received and the totals are canvased.