Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

March 5, 2014

Peacock, Stone set for runoff race; Davis wins

Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress

CHEROKEE COUNTY — A hotly contested race among Republican candidates vying for the Cherokee County Court-at-Law position just got hotter.

Interim Judge Kelley Peacock and opponent Janice Crosby Stone will face each other in a May 27 runoff election after almost tying for the position, according to unofficial results released by the Cherokee County Election Department.

Of the 3,023 ballots cast, Peacock garnered 39.07 percent – or 1,181 votes, while Stone followed closely behind, with 38.07 percent, or 1,151 votes.

A third political candidate, Daniel Boone Childs, had 691 votes, or 22.86 percent.

“I'm humbled and honored to have received the support of so many voters and trusted leaders,” Peacock said, according to a statement from her publicist Tara Hood.

“I will continue to work hard for the people of Cherokee County. My experience as an attorney, former prosecutor and presiding judge uniquely qualifies me for this position.”

Stone also thanked those who supported her candidacy throughout the primary.

“I am honored to have the trust of those that voted for me” she said. “We are looking forward to the runoff on May 27, and we'll continue our campaign process.”

Republican Party county chairman Jerry Rix said a runoff was called when no one candidate received half the number of votes cast.

“Somebody had to have more than 50 percent of the votes,” he said, adding that he was not surprised that voters would return to the polls in May to choose between Peacock and Stone.

“I had figured all along that they would be in a runoff,” he said.

Childs did not respond to a call for comment about the race, as of press time Tuesday night.

Overall, Tuesday's election went “very smooth," he added.

“We had a state inspector who checked us out and found no discrepancy whatsoever for today's election,” Rix said, adding the gentleman was from the Texas Secretary of State's office.

Incumbents Byron Underwood and Chris Davis requested an inspector oversee the event “to be sure the election went smooth, and there were no problems,” Rix said. “It was just great … we ended up with a good primary election.”

Another highly contested local race in the Republican primary was that between incumbent County Judge Chris Davis and opponent Tammy Blair. Of the 2,925 ballots cast, Davis received 74.91 percent – or 2,191 votes – to Blair's 734 votes, or 25.09 percent.

Other contested races included those for:

• State Representative, Dist. 11 – Of the 2,918 ballots cast, Republican

incumbent Travis Clardy received 2,431 votes, or 83.31 percent, to challenger Tony Sevilla’s 497, or 16.69 percent.

• County Treasurer – Republican incumbent Patsy J. Lassiter received 2,058 (74.86 percent) of the 2,749 ballots cast; opponent Murray Smith garnered 691, or 25.14 percent.

• County Surveyor – Of the 2,618 ballots cast, Republican incumbent Carl Wayne Morgan received 1,679, or 64.13 percent, of the votes, while challenger Matt Hunt received 939 votes – 35.87 percent.

• Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace – Republican incumbent Phillip Grimes received 330 – or 56.70 percent – of the 582 ballots cast, compared to challenger James Morris’s 252 votes, or 43.30 percent.

• Pct. 4 County Commissioner – Of the 495 ballots cast, Republican incumbent Byron Underwood received 343, or 69.29 percent, votes compared to challenger Glyn A. Dotson’s 152 votes, or 30.71 percent. In the county's Democratic primary, Pct. 4 Commissioner candidate Kenneth D. Cain  – who ran unchallenged – received 54 votes.

Tuesday's local uncontested races included:

• State Senator, Dist. 3 – Republican incumbent Robert Nichols received 2,668 votes.

• District Judge, 369th Judicial District – Republican incumbent Bascom W. Bentley III received 2,501 votes.

• District Clerk – Republican candidate Janet Gates received 2,475 votes.

• County Clerk – Republican candidate Laverne Lusk received 2,528 votes.

• Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace – Republican incumbent Brenda Dominy received 905 votes.

• Pct. 2 County Commissioner – Republican incumbent Steven Norton received 687 votes.

• Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace – Republican incumbent Tony Johnson received 697 votes.

• Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace – Democratic incumbent Vera Foreman received 54 votes, while Republican candidate Rodney Wallace received 375 votes in their respective primaries.

Candidates for respective party chairmen were unchallenged, with Democratic candidate Craig D. Caldwell receiving 192 votes, and Karen Morris – Republican candidate – receiving 2,329 votes.

County elections administrator Shannon Cornelius said the post-election closing “went awesomely.”

According to her office, early voting for the primary runoff is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 19-23.