From the Austin American-Statesman | Updated: 1:50 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014 | Posted: 7:49 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014
By Andra Lim
Updated at 1:39 a.m.: Sarah Eckhardt will be Travis County’s first female county judge after handily winning the race with 62 percent of the vote.
Eckhardt, the former Precinct 2 commissioner who stepped down to run for county judge, beat out Republican Mike McNamara (33 percent) and Libertarian Richard Perkins (4 percent).
Democrat Brigid Shea finished with 62 percent of the vote for the Precinct 2 commissioner’s seat, while Precinct 4 Commissioner Margaret Gómez won a sixth term with 83 percent of ballots.
Updated at 12:55 a.m.: Sarah Eckhardt is holding onto her strong lead in the Travis County judge’s race, with 62.18 percent of the vote, according to the latest returns.
Eckhardt, who stepped down as a commissioners last year to run for county judge, is outpacing Republican Mike McNamara (32.97 percent) and Libertarian Richard Perkins (4.85 percent).
Democrat Brigid Shea also has a strong lead in the Commissioners Court seat in Precinct 2 with 62.46 percent of the vote. Republican Raymond Frank has 31.35 percent and Libertarian Steven Haskett has 6.19 percent.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Margaret Gómez, a Democrat, is well on her way to her sixth term with 83.28 percent of the vote, while Libertarian challenger Joseph Morse has 16.72 percent.
Updated at 10:20 p.m.: Sarah Eckhardt has begun celebrating her victory in the Travis County judge race, posting on Facebook that she’s “deeply honored” to continue her work in public service and thanking voters.
Eckhardt will be the first female county judge in Travis.
With 68 of 186 county polling places reporting results, Democrat Eckhardt had almost 51,000 more votes than her closest opponent, Republican Mike McNamara. Eckhardt has picked up 63 percent of the votes counted so far, while McNamara received 33 percent and Libertarian Richard Perkins had 4 percent.
Former Austin City Council member Brigid Shea had 62 percent of the vote, or 30,355 votes, in the Precinct 2 commissioner race.
Precinct 4 commissioner Margaret Gómez, who is running for a sixth term, had 84 percent of the votes counted so far.
Earlier: Former Precinct 2 commissioner Sarah Eckhardt is the decisive front-runner in the race that will determine the first new Travis County judge in 16 years.
Eckhardt, who handily won the Democratic primary in March with a 10-point margin, received 63 percent of early votes, or 88,149 ballots. Republican Mike McNamara picked up 33 percent of the vote, while Libertarian Richard Perkins took 4 percent.
If elected, Eckhardt would be Travis County’s first female county judge.
The county judge, a non-judicial position, chairs the five-member Commissioners Court, which sets the county property tax rate, manages the jails and courts system and maintains parks and roads in unincorporated areas.
County Judge Sam Biscoe, who has been in office since 1999, is retiring at the end of his term. Commissioner Bruce Todd, the former Austin mayor who was appointed to fill Eckhardt’s seat when she vacated it to run for county judge, will also be stepping down.
Former Austin City Council member Brigid Shea, a Democrat, leads the race for that open seat with 62 percent of the early vote, or 24,840 ballots. Republican Raymond Frank, who formerly served as county sheriff, trails with 32 percent of the vote, while Libertarian Steven Haskett received 5 percent.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Margaret Gómez is well on her way to a sixth term. The Democrat is besting her one opponent, Libertarian Joseph Morse, with 85 percent of the early votes.
County treasurer Dolores Ortega Carter, who fended off a serious contender in the Democratic primary, is well ahead of Libertarian Mike Burris with 79 percent of early votes.
In other county races:
- Democrat Velva Price won 79 percent of the early vote in the district clerk race, and Libertarian Kevin Pick received 21 percent. The winner will succeed District Clerk Amalia Rodríguez-Mendoza, who is retiring after more than two decades in office.
- Lawyer Todd Wong, a Democrat who’s the sole contestant in the Travis County Court at Law 1 race, will replace soon-to-be-retired Judge David Phillips, who’s been in office since 1988.
Turnout in the two-week early voting period — which usually makes up rough the total turnout in Travis County — was 22 percent.
County officials posted early voting results shortly after polls closed at 7 p.m., and ballots cast today are being counted.