Branick wins Jefferson County judge race

Republican Jeff Branick kept his position as Jefferson County Judge, defeating former Congressman Nick Lampson (D) with 37,402 votes (51 percent) to Lampson’s 36,453 (49 percent).

Statewide, Rep. Randy Weber (R) kept his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives Texas 14th District — which encompasses the area from Beaumont to Freeport — with 137,582 votes (59 percent) over Adrienne Bell’s (D) 90,937 votes (39 percent).

In the Texas 36th District — which includes all of Newton, Jasper, Tyler, Polk, Orange, Hardin, Liberty and Chambers counties, in addition to the southeastern portion of Harris County — Brian Babin (R) beat out Dayna Steele (D) with 160,592 votes (73 percent)  to 60,486 votes (27 percent).

Carolyn Guidry (D) received 37,429 votes (51 percent) and won the position of Jefferson County clerk against Bailey Wingate (R), who received 36,116 votes (49 percent).

Jefferson County Treasurer went to Charlie Hallmark (D) who received 36,982 votes against opponent Tim Funchess (R), who received 36,316 votes. Statistically, both candidates received 50 percent of the vote.

Jefferson County Justice of the Peace Pct. 1, Place 2 went to Ben Collins (D) with 15,713 votes (52 percent) against Annette Reedy (R), who received 13,462 votes (46 percent).

Jevonne Pollard (D) beat out Charlie Wiggins (R) for Jefferson County Constable Pct. 1 with 15,307 votes (52 percent) vs. 13,887 votes (48 percent).

For State Senate District 3 — encompassing Anderson, Angelina, Cherokee, Hardin, Henderson, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity and Tyler counties as well as portions of Montgomery and Smith counties — Robert Nichols (R) received 212,710 (78 percent) votes vs. Shirley Layton (D), who received 55,570 (20 percent) votes.

For State Representative, District 19 — encompassing Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Polk and Tyler counties — James White (R) received 49,926 (83 percent) votes vs. Sherry Williams (D), who received 10,070 (17 percent) votes.

In the U.S. Senate race between Sen. Ted Cruz (R) and Beto O’Rourke (D), Cruz won most of the rural counties while O’Rourke won the metropolitan counties, including Jefferson County.

Jefferson County, which voted for Donald Trump in 2016, split between party lines in many statewide races — Republican Greg Abbott received the majority in the county for governor, but Democratic candidate Mike Collier received the majority for Lt. Governor. Jefferson also chose Democrat Justin Nelson for Attorney General.

Political pundits were waiting to see if Texas would officially become a blue, or at least purple, state, and while a majority of all Texas officials elected were Republicans, the state has become more unpredictable than it has been in recent years.

By Olivia Malick, UP managing editor

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