Republican incumbent Rick Perry tells Democratic nominee Tony Sanchez to get on down the road, as he remains Texas governor.Perry received 59 percent of the vote and Sanchez received 39 percent. Perry claimed victory Tuesday night at the Austin Convention Center while Sanchez refused to concede the election until every vote was counted. “By the sovereign power and the people of Texas and by the grace of God, I am humbly and deeply honored to announce that I’ve been elected your governor of Texas,” Perry said in his televised acceptance speech.Mark Sanders, a Sanchez spokesperson, said Tuesday night it was too early to concede the election because two key counties, Tarrant and Bexar, had not yet returned results. The gubernatorial race was one of the nastiest and most expensive races in Texas history. Sanchez spent over $70 million, becoming the biggest spender of personal wealth, surpassing H. Ross Perot’s spending for the 1992 presidential race by $33 million.Dr. John Holcombe, political science professor at SHSU, said what was impressive on the state level was how much the Republicans won by. “It’s impressive that Republicans keep getting stronger. I thought Democrats would win more on a state level. I was surprised John Sharp lost. I thought he had a lot going for him in terms of campaigning,” Holcombe said.Students were split in their opinions of the election.”It’s great that Perry won,” said freshman Katey Hall. “I didn’t get to vote because I’m registered in Houston and couldn’t get back to vote. I’m Republican, so I’m glad he won.””I couldn’t care less (about who won),” said senior Elijah Luna. “I was too busy with school to vote.”Elsewhere in Texas elections, Republican David Dewhurst received 52 percent of the votes for Lieutenant Governor while opponent John Sharp received 46 percent. Greg Abbott defeated Kirk Watson for Texas Attorney General, receiving 58 percent of the votes to Watson’s 40 percent.Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator Ron Kirk, who was attempting to become Texas’ first black senator, conceded the election to Republican John Cornyn after gaining 42 percent of the votes to Cornyn’s 56 percent. Cornyn’s win was one of four seats opened when GOP senators retired that was defended in Tuesday’s elections. Key victories in Missouri, Minnesota and Georgia allowed Republicans to gain control of the Senate. The GOP will have at least a 51-seat majority in the Senate. Undecided races in South Dakota and Louisiana could add to Republican strength.The change in control in Congress will affect all states, not just Texas, Holcombe said.”President Bush will now be able to push his programs more, such as making his tax cut permanent. Now, he has a good chance to do that,” he said. “It’s small majorities, but for the president’s party to gain the majority in a midterm election is unusual, particularly for a Republican president,” Holcombe said. “It shows that some people vote differently on different levels.”While Republicans gained control nationwide with numerous victories, on a local level, Democrats were the big winner of Tuesday’s elections. In the race for U.S. Representative District 2, which includes Walker County, incumbent Jim Turner defeated Republican opponent Van Brookshire with 61 percent of the votes, with 89 percent of the precincts reported.In Walker County, Democrat Danny Pierce defeated the Republican nominee, retired U.S. Army Col. Mickey Evans, for Walker County Judge. In the District 278 Judge race, incumbent Ken Keeling defeated Democratic opponent Dale Duff, gaining 65.3 percent of the votes over Duff’s 34.7 percent. Democrat Robyn Flowers defeated Republican candidate Bob Hardy in the district clerk race. Flowers received 52.4 percent of the votes to Hardy’s 47.6 percent. Democrat Barbara McGilberry, who received 52.7 percent of the votes for county treasurer, defeated Republican David McNutt. Robert Earl Autery, County Commissioner for Precinct 2 of Walker County, defeated challenger Ronald Dezell, gaining 67.6 percent of votes to Dezell’s 32.4 percent.Lloyd Roark, incumbent Walker County Justice of the Peace for Precinct 3, defeated Republican Andy Martinez, gaining 61 percent of the votes to win his seventh term.
Percentages portrayed in this story are with 70 percent of precincts reported unless otherwise noted. Information for this article was gathered from CNN and KHOU.