ORANGE — Republicans sweep local races
By Tommy Mann Jr.
ORANGE — Orange County is Republican country.
The Orange County Republican Party met with unprecedented success on Tuesday as all five candidates won elections ranging from County Court at Law to constable to county commissioner. A total of 30,827 voters submitted ballots for the November general election, which is a record in Orange County.
“This is the first time that we have had so many Republican candidates win at one time,” said Zach Johnson, chairman of the Orange County Republican Party. “Jody Crump (Orange County Commissioner of Precinct 4) was the first Republican we had to win in November two years ago, and we had five Republicans win contested races this time.
“We’re definitely enthused and excited about it and happy about the direction the party is headed for the future,” Johnson added.
In the race for Judge of County Court at Law, Mandy White-Rogers received 71 percent of the vote to defeat opponent Mike Abbott.
A message left for Rogers seeking comment on her victory was not immediately returned.
In the race for Orange County Commissioner in Precinct 1, incumbent David Dubose defeated challenger, and former commissioner, James Stringer. Dubose received 56.18 percent of the vote.
“We expected a lot of people to vote Republican, and that’s what happened,” said David Dubose on his successful big for re-election.
The race for County Commissioner in Precinct 3 was slightly closer, but challenger John Banken defeated incumbent Democrat, John P. Dubose by more than 800 votes. Banken received 55.60 percent of the vote.
“I’m very pleased with the results, and I thank God for the privilege and honor to be elected commissioner of Precinct 3,” Banken said in a telephone interview. “I have a lot of friends and my family who worked very hard during this election. I couldn’t have made it by myself. I look forward to serving the people of Precinct 3.”
Incumbent Chris Humble won re-election as Orange County Constable of Precinct 2 as he received 60.42 percent of the vote to be challenger Sarah Jefferson-Simon.
“It feels good to have the election over,” Humble said after the victory. “It’s been a really long process leading up to this point. Fortunately, I had plenty of support and it was a good, clean race. I appreciate the opportunity to serve the community for another four years.”
Republican candidate David Cagle won the race for Orange County Constable in Precinct 3 as he defeated challenger Lynn Arceneaux. Cagle received 64.18 percent of the vote on Tuesday.
A message left for Cagle seeking comment on his victory was not immediately returned.
Republican Steve Stockman is returning to Congress by winning a U.S. House seat for District 36 in Southeast Texas.
Stockman defeated Democrat Max Martin Tuesday. In Orange County, Stockman received 72 percent of the vote, while his winning margin across the district was 71 percent of the vote.
Stockman served one term as a congressman from 1995 to 1997. In his short time in Washington, Stockman became known for incendiary language like accusing the government of “executing” members of the Branch Davidian cult after the 1993 siege outside Waco, according to the Associated Press.
He’s called himself a conservative Republican who would support a federal balanced-budget amendment and oppose gun control, abortion and gay marriage.
The 36th Congressional District is heavily Republican. It includes part of Harris County, but is comprised mostly of rural East Texas counties stretching to the Louisiana border.
Texas voters made Ted Cruz the state’s first Hispanic U.S. senator but their overwhelming support for fellow Republican Mitt Romney wasn’t enough to keep Democratic President Barack Obama from winning re-election to a second term.
The GOP dominance at the top of the Texas ticket was no surprise. Democrats haven’t won statewide office in Texas since 1994, the longest state losing streak for the party in the country.
Romney won Texas’ 38 electoral votes by building a nearly 3-2 margin lead over Obama but lost the overall prize.
In the balloting to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Cruz similarly topped underfunded former Democratic state Rep. Paul Sadler. Cruz was virtually unknown as a former state solicitor general before he used tea party backing to emerge from a crowded GOP primary field as runner-up to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, then swept by the mainstream party choice in the runoff to clinch the Republican nomination.