McLennan stays red

Skye Duncan | Lariat Photographer
Skye Duncan | Lariat Photographer
Skye Duncan | Lariat Photographer

By Jon Platt

McLennan County elections resulted in a Republican-leaning local government.

On Tuesday, McLennan County voters elected many, but not all, of the Republican candidates to local offices.

“We’re really fired up this year to keep Texas red,” said Toby Walker, spokeswoman for the McLennan County Republican Party. “People want jobs, lower taxes and to keep their Texas values. We’ve placed those issues at the top of our concerns.”
One race many watched closely was between the McLennan County District Attorney campaign between incumbent Abel Reyna, a Republican, and attorney Robert Callahan.

The race was kept under the public eye because Callahan campaigned as a write-in candidate and gained a large following of constituents.

Reyna, incumbent district attorney, was elected with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to reports from the McLennan County website. Reyna with 83.8 percent.

“We’re thrilled Abel won by such a large margin,” Walker said.

Another closely watched contest was for McLennan County district clerk, which was between Republican John Gimble, an intelligence analyst, and incumbent Karen Matkin, a Democrat.

Gimble defeated Matkin by a margin of 2.4 percent, according to reports from McLennan County.

“If Matkin lost to a guy with only a few accounting courses from MCC, when she’s a very qualified lawyer, we’re probably back at ground zero,” said Mary Duty, party chair for McLennan County Democrats. “I’m absolutely devastated at the loss of Matkin. It’s a sad day when unqualified people are elected to office.”

The McLennan County justice of the peace for precinct one, place one race was also on many voters’ radar. This justice of the peace’s governance includes Baylor University.

Republican Dianne Hensley was elected to this position, trumping Democrat Adam Byrd and Libertarian Gary Cunha, according to reports from McLennan County.

Democrat Freddie Cantu defeated Republican Sal Romero by 7.6 percent in the race for the position of precinct five’s constable, the information McLennan County reported.

Matkin said it is now her party’s job to assess the numbers from this election and create a plan for the election in 2016. She also said her party would be holding the newly elected officials highly accountable.

“We’re officially all red,” Duty* said. “I guess it won’t be the Democratic Party you blame. We have no one to look to buy our Republican friends.”

Also on the ballot was a constitutional amendment, called Proposition Number One. The approved proposition allocates more funding to the repair and restructuring of Texas infrastructure.

The state released a list of over 1,700 roadways that needed repair. One of the roads included in the report was Valley Mills Drive.

Proposition Number One was approved in McLennan County, according to reports from McLennan County.


*Editor’s Note: Correction: Nov. 5, 2014: This article has been corrected to show that this quote is from Mary Duty, the party chair for the McLennan County Democrats, not Karen Matkin, who was the democratic candidate for McLennan County District Clerk.