Republicans made a clean sweep of Kaufman County in Tuesday’s general election, favoring every GOP candidate from Donald Trump for president to new County Commissioner Terry Barber.
Barber, whose election to the Prec. 3 post was the only contested county office on the ballot, outpolled J.C. Jackson, who was the only Democrat to seek a county office.
Barber won the GOP nomination by defeating incumbent Kenneth Schoen in a May runoff. Schoen had unseated Jackson in 2012 after Jackson did the same to him in 2008.
Barber won 5,208 votes to 3,071 for Jackson.
Trump’s win at the county level continued a trend dating back to 1980, when Democrat Jimmy Carter earned more votes in Kaufman County than Ronald Reagan. Reagan won nationally to begin his first term, and by 1984 easily carried Kaufman County. The county has gone for the GOP nominee ever since.
Trump had 29,537 votes to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 10,265
Trump also carried a solid lead over Clinton statewide to earn Texas’ 38 Electoral College votes, leading 52-44 percent in early returns.
Nationally the presidential race was too close to call at press time before 10 p.m. Tuesday. Trump held a slight lead in both the popular vote and Electoral College with many key states still too close to call.
Most voters in Kaufman County went with a straight party vote. Some 67 percent of all votes cast in the county were straight party, and 73 percent of those were Republican.
And turn out – at 41,734 – easily broke the record of 35,145 who cast votes in the 2008 presidential election. Turnout was slightly less in 2012 at 34,670.
The turnout was almost 62 percent, with 20 percent of registered voters coming out on Election Day to join the 42 percent who voted early.
Kaufman’s Congressman, Jeb Hensarling, easily won reelection, facing opposition only from the Libertarian Party. He had 78 percent of early returns.
Kaufman County will be represented on the State Board of Education by Republican Kevin Ellis, who easily outpolled Democrat Amanda Rudolph and Libertarian Anastasia Wilford.
He had 74 percent with a third of the votes counted statewide and earned 72 percent in the county.
In the race for two Scurry City Council seats, top vote getters were Andy Sloan with 135 and Linda McWhorter with 84. Terry Dean and Scott Douda each had 75.
Johnny Blazek was unopposed for reelection as Scurry mayor.
The city of Oak Ridge turned down the two percent retail sales tax proposal by a 105 to 94 count.
Two propositions for $125 million in utility and road bonds in Fresh Water Supply District No. 6 passed 6-0.
The county election returns showed no votes were cast for similar propositions in FWSD No. 4-A worth $197 million.
Statewide Republicans were winning all the judicial races plus the contested seat on the Texas Railroad Commission.
Wayne Christian had 53 percent of the votes in early returns while Democrat Grady Yarbrough had 39 pecent and Libertarian Mark Miller almost five percent, with almost three percent to Green Party candidate Martina Salinas.
Christian polled 70 percent in Kaufman County to 23.7 percent for Yarbrough and four percent for Miller.
Incumbent Republicans swept the three seats on the State Supreme Court locally and statewide.
Republicans also won the three contested seats on the State Court of Appeals at both levels.
One appeals court incumbent, Larry Meyers, lost his reelection bid after switching to the Democratic Party during his term. He won 40 percent of the votes in early Texas returns and polled just 24 percent in Kaufman County.
In very early returns, Republican incumbents had narrow leads for the two contested seats on the 5th District Court of Appeals.
But in Kaufman County those margins were nearly three to one for the GOP. candidates.
A handful of voters in northeast Kaufman County who live in the Wills Point School District favored that district’s $42.5 million school bond 159 to 135.
But Van Zandt County election results showed the issue failed 834 to 761.