Obama Wins Second Term; Republicans Dominate In State, Local Races

(November 6, 2012)--President Barack Obama was re-elected to a second term Tuesday, defeating Republican Mitt Romney in a hard-fought race in which the economy was the dominant issue.

Romney conceded the race at 11:55 p.m. CST Tuesday.

“This election is over but our principles endure,” he told a crowd of supporters who were expecting a victory speech Tuesday night.


Voters decided to give Mr. Obama another four years of stewardship over an economy that is slowly recovering from the recession.

Mr. Obama captured battleground states including Ohio, Iowa and Colorado on his way to the 270 electoral votes he needed.

Romney unsuccessfully campaigned on the theme that his business background gave him the experience needed to guide the nation out of tough economic times.

Mr. Obama will again be dealing with a divided Congress. Democrats maintained control of the Senate and Republicans likely will again control the House.

Among the most pressing matters is the so-called fiscal cliff of tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled to hit in January. Economists have warned that if they aren't averted, the nation could face another recession.

Romney claimed Texas’ 38 electoral votes Tuesday, although the outcome of the race in the state wasn’t much in doubt.

As expected, Republican Ted Cruz should becomes the first Hispanic from Texas elected to the U.S. Senate, easily surviving a challenge from Democrat Paul Sadler, Libertarian Jay Myers and Green Party candidate David Collins.

The ex-state solicitor general was heavily favored because Texas has not elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since Lloyd Bentsen in 1988.

Cruz said he will work with Mr. Obama, but only if the president changes his ways and does more to work with both Democrats and Republicans.

If that happens, Cruz said he "will work with him."

Cruz succeeds retiring Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Cruz became a national sensation after his upset July victory over Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to win the Republican senatorial nomination.

That race was seen as a national test of the tea party's influence because Cruz painted the mainstream GOP choice Dewhurst as too moderate.

Cruz has since mended fences with state GOP leaders and says he'll work with both parties in Congress.



U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, won a second term easily against Libertarian Ben Easton in a district that stretches from south of Fort Worth to Brazos County.

U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, defeated Democrat Stephen Wyman and Libertarian Ethan Garofolo to win another term.

"I am honored to have won the approval of my friends and neighbors to remain in the House, and look forward to continuing the work and ongoing challenges facing our district," Carter said in a statement.

"From protecting Fort Hood and our military families from sequestration, to preventing salamanders from shutting down economic development in our region, to balancing our federal budget and preventing tax hikes, there are major battles underway that I am grateful to be allowed to keep fighting."

Republican Roger Williams was the early winner in the race for the new District 25 seat in the U.S. House, defeating Democrat Elaine Henderson and Libertarian Betsy Dewey. The newly drawn district includes part of Bell County, Bosque County, Coryell County, Hamilton County, Hill County and Lampasas County.

“From Comanche Peak to the University of Texas...from Austin to Burleson...from Fort Hood to the small farms and ranches...I am blessed to represent a great district. I commend my opponent on a hard fought race. And I am excited to get started and begin the process of turning around the economy and the country,” Williams said in a statement Tuesday night.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, won another term in a race against Democrat Neil Burns and Libertarian Leon Hall in a district that includes Leon County.

U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Midland, coasted to an early win against Democrat Jim Riley and Libertarian Scott J. Ballard in a district that includes Mills and San Saba Counties.

Texas Legislature

Republican Dist. 22 State Sen. Brian Birdwell defeated Libertarian Tom Kilbride in a district that includes Bosque, Falls, Hill and McLennan Counties.

"I've been vigorously traveling throughout the district for more than a year, meeting several times per week with school superintendents, local officials, business leaders and individual citizens to discuss the key successes of the 82nd legislative session and the challenges facing our state,” Birdwell said in a statement.

“When asking constituents for the opportunity to serve them once more, I promised to uphold my record of honest and accountable actions. Today the voters of Senate District 22 honored me with tremendous support, re-electing me to serve a second term as their conservative voice in the Texas Senate, and I feel extremely privileged for the opportunity to do so."

Republican Dist. 5 State Sen. Charles Schwertner, whose district includes Freestone, Leon, Limestone and Milam Counties, defeated Libertarian Jeffrey fox to win another term.

Incumbent Dist. 56 State Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson defeated Libertarian Neill Snider to win another term representing McLennan County.

Republican Dist. 54 State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock was beating Democrat Claudia Brown for another term representing Bell and Lampasas Counties.

Republican Kyle Kacal won the race for the Dist. 12 seat in the state House against Democrat Robert Stem. The newly drawn district includes Falls, Limestone and Robertson Counties and a portion of McLennan County.

Republican J.D. Sheffield was beating Democrat Bill Norris in the race for the Dist. 59 seat in the state House, which includes Coryell, Hamilton, Mills and San Saba Counties.

Republican Dist. 8 State Rep. Byron Cook defeated Democrat Charles Morgan to win another term. His district includes Freestone and Hill Counties.

McLennan County

McLennan County voters elected a sheriff to succeed retiring Sheriff Larry Lynch.

Republican Parnell McNamara easily defeated Democrat Willie Tompkins, Sr., and Libertarian Charles C. Hutyra.

Republican Will Jones defeated Democrat Brian Scott in the race for the Precinct 3 seat on the McLennan County Commissioners Court.

Incumbent Democratic Pct. 8 Constable Freddie Cantu survived a challenge from Republican Sal Romero.

Bell County

In Bell County, the vote county went slowly Tuesday night.

When the final votes were counted late Tuesday night Republican Eddy Lange defeated Democrat Frank J. Hernandez in the race to succeed retiring Sheriff Dan Smith.

Incumbent Republican Pct. 1 County Commissioner Richard Cortese turned back a challenge from Democrat Irene Andrews.

Republican Billy Schumann defeated Democrat Billy Ray Crow in the race for Pct. 3 County Commissioner.

Republican Pct. 3 Pl. 1 Justice of the Peace David Barfield defeated Democrat Mike Medrano.

Coryell County

Coryell County voted on two propositions.

The first, involving adoption of a stock law, passed, and the second, which would have allowed horses, mules, jacks, jennets, donkeys, hogs, sheep and goats to run at large in the county, didn’t.

Falls County

Falls County voters decided two races involving challenges to incumbent officeholders.

Longtime Democratic Falls County Sheriff Ben Kirk survived a challenge Tuesday from Republican Ricky Scaman and Republican Pct. County Commissioner Milton Albright defeated Democrat David Fitz.

Limestone County

Limestone County voters decided one contested county race.

Republican Jerry R. Allen defeated incumbent Democratic Pct. 3 County Commissioner Morris D. Beaver.

Other Central Texas Counties

In Bosque County Republican Douglas Day defeated Democrat Gerald Don Gordon in the Pct. 1 County Commissioner race and Republican Sammy Leach defeated Democrat Gary Arnold in the Pct. 3 County Commissioner race.

Hamilton County voters approved a local option measure that legalizing the sale of all alcoholic beverages and in the race for Pct. 3 Commissioner Republican Lloyd Huggins defeated Democrat Jon C. Bonner.

In Hill County Republican Michael Cox defeated Democrat Edward Leon Rhoudes in the race to succeed Sheriff Jeffrey Lyon, who lost in the GOP runoff.

Republican Danny Bodeker defeated Democrat Henry Alderson in the race for Pct. 1 County Commissioner and Republican Pct. 1 Constable defeated Democratic challenger Brent Wickcliffe.

Hill County voters also approved an optional road system proposition and a proposition that adds Hubbard to Emergency Services District No. 2.

In Milam County, Republican incumbent John Youngblood defeated Democratic challenger Hollis Lewis for another term as 20th State District Judge; Republican Bill Torrey defeated incumbent Democratic District and County Attorney Kerry Spears; Republican Tax Assessor-Collector Kolette Morgan defeated Democratic challenger Tommy Grimes; Republican Donna Orsag defeated Democratic incumbent Linda Acosta in the race for the unexpired County Treasurer’s term; Republican Pct. 1 County Commissioner Greg Tomek defeated Democratic challenger Ricky McCall; Republican John “Barney” Fisher defeated Democrat Andy Jackson in the race for Pct. 3 County Commissioner, and Democratic Pct. 4 Constable Giles Summerlin defeated Republican challenger Fred Keefer.

In Mills County voters decided two county commissioner races and in both cases the Demoratic incumbents were defeated. Republican Mike Wright won the Pct. 1 seat on the Commissioners Court, defeating incumbent John Mann, and Republican Robert Hall won the Pct. 3 seat, defeating incumbent Dale Partin.

San Saba voters decided two races in which write-in candidates were running. Republican Randall "Randy" Robinson defeated write-in candidate David Williams in the race for county attorney and in the Pct. 1 County Commissioner race, Republican Otis Judkins defeated write-in candidate Michael Wood.


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