Incumbents dominate in elections

Not surprisingly, incumbents had their way at ballot boxes throughout Howard County on election day, though a few will have an opponent in the November general election.Incumbent Emma Pugh Brown held off challenger Larry Torres, 56 votes to 41, to earn the Democratic nomination for Precinct 1 County Commissioner. She'll face Oscar M. Garcia in November. Garcia outvoted Edwin O. “Ed” Ware, 112 to 98, to win the Republican nomination.In the only other locally contest race, incumbent Sheriff Stan Parker hammered challenger M.O. Horton, 1,801 votes to 366 in the Republican Primary.“I am glad it is over,” Parker, who does not have an opponent in November, said this morning. “I'm happy with the outcome and ready to move forward with all the things we have going on. It's time to go back to work.”Running unopposed were a handful of Republican incumbents — Precinct 1 Commissioner Jimmy Long, 118th Judicial District Attorney Hardy Wilkerson, County Attorney Josh Hamby, Peace Justice Precinct 1 Bennie Green and Precinct 1 Constable Knell Stallings. None have an opponent in November.Diane Carter, an employee of the tax collection office, was also unopposed for the office on the Republican ticket. Unopposed in the general election, she'll take over for longtime Tax Collector and Assessor Kathy Sayles, who elected not to run.Howard County joined the rest of the area in showing approval for District 19 U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer and State District 31 Senator Kel Seliger, both Republicans. Through District 19, Neugebauer wrangled 75 percent of the vote to defeat Chris Winn. “I’m very humbled the people of the 19th District have asked me to continue working on their behalf,” said Neugebauer. “In this environment right now, I think people are concerned about the direction of the country and are very being selective about the people they are sending to Washington.”Seliger topped Randy Rives, also reaping 75 percent of the vote.Kay Bailey Hutchison's decision not to make a run at office for another term brought out plenty of contenders. When the ballots were tallied, Paul Sadler came out on top in the Democratic Primary while David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz will go to a runoff to determine the Republican nominee. Dewhurts received 48 percent of the vote while Cruz captured 34 percent — neither with a clear majority.Howard County also mirrored state totals when it came to the nation's highest office. Mitt Romney, the Republican frontrunner, tallied 1,557 votes in county — 71.59 percent of the vote. Even less surprising was that President Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination by 85 percent. He received 201 votes in Howard County.In one other race of note to the Crossroads area, Drew Darby was unchallenged in the Republican Primary for District 72 State Representative. Voter turnout for the county was 16,595 or 15.96 percent. Some 2,244 votes were cast in the Republican Party; 256 in the Democratic Party.