By Bailey Brammer | Staff Writer
Local elections were in full swing Tuesday night with the House of Representatives 17th Congressional District seat and the McLennan County sheriff positions on the block.
Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Bill Flores beat Democrat underdog William “Bill” Matta for the U.S. House seat representing Texas’ 17th Congressional District. Uncontested incumbent Parnell McNamara won re-election as well and will serve as McLennan County sheriff for another four years.
Flores had 51,883 votes and won by a margin of 65.95 percent, while Matta had only 24,632 votes, according to the McClennan County website.
Matta supporters gathered at the McLennan County Democratic Party’s watch party at Poppa Rollo’s. While the votes were still being counted, Mary Duty, party chair of the McLennan County Democratic Party, had high hopes.
“I’m not worried, you know? He’s got such a good heart. He’s a veteran, and he’s a professor at MCC, so he has a sense of serving,” Duty said. “I really enjoyed getting to know him and his sense of purpose. I think people really appreciate his message.”
Flores has been a U.S. Representative since 2010 when he beat long-time incumbent Democrat Chet Edwards. He was elected as chairman of the Republican Study Committee in 2014 and has run on the platform of halting the “social justice” agendas of liberals and furthering the ideas of America’s Founding Fathers.
Matta, a McLennan Community College English instructor, ran on the basis of equality for all races, religions and genders and the notion that healthcare should be affordable and accessible for all Americans, according to Matta’s website..
McNamara won the Republican primary in March by 66.31 percent, and was uncontested by a Democratic candidate.
Brooke Bentley, Lariat Reporter, contributed to this report.