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Golden beats Flanary-Turner; Mitchell edges McCoy -- but 3 races will require runoffs

Shawntel Golden defeated Susan Flanary-Turner for district clerk in Lamar County’s Republican Primary on Tuesday, and incumbent Keith Mitchell defeated longtime Lamar County Sheriff to retain his seat as county commissioner for Precinct 4.

Three other races won’t be decided until a May 27 runoff because none of the three candidates in those races garnered a clearn majority.

And with 61 of 90 voting boxes in, State Rep. George Lavendar was trailing Gary Van Deaver, who was riding a wave of teachers’ support in the four-county district of Bowie, Franklin, Red River and Lamar counties. All the votes were in from Lamar, Red River and Franklin, and that’s Lavendar’s home turf. He is from Texarkana.

Van Deaver outpolled Lavendar 2,977 to 1, 966 in Lamar County, 1,240 to 367 in Red River County and 742 to 619 in Franklin County.  Lavendar was carrying his Bowie County 2,542 to 2,114. As of 12:45 a.m. today, Van Deaver had 7,073 votes to 5,494 for Lavendar.

No one got a clear majority in the races for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, Place 2; Constable of Precinct 5; or County Commissioner, Precinct 2, so voters will go back to the polls in 12 weeks to decide between the two top vote-getters in each of those races.

No Democratic candidates in Lamar County had challengers.

Winners outright were Shawntel Golden over Susan Flanary-Turner for district clerk and Keith Mitchell, who won re-election over the challenge of longtime former Lamar County Sheriff B.J. McCoy.

Golden jumped to an early lead over Flanary-Turner and stayed there. She earned 78.06 percent of the 5,693 votes cast. Incumbent Marvin Ann Patterson did not seek reelection; she threw her support to Golden, a 17-year employee of hers who has been her chief assistant the past seven years. Patterson’s husband, Lynn Patterson, was Golden’s campaign treasurer.

In the race for Lamar County Precinct 2 commissioner, David Niblett was the leading vote-getter in a three-way race, but failed to get over half the votes, so he will face off against Larry W. Davis in two months for the Republican nomination. Niblett received 48.84 percent of the 649 votes cast, to 25.89 percent for Davis and 25.27 percent for James Dunn.

Davi, an activist in the Tea Party movement, announced during a Republican candidate forum several weeks ago that he was dropping his candidacy and throwing his support to Niblett, but his decision came too late to get his name off the ballot.

Lonnie Layton, the incumbent, ran in the Democratic Primary and will face the Niblett-Davis winner in November.

Mitchell got 52.6 percent of the 1,865 votes against McCoy.

Gene Hobbs
Gene Hobbs

Gene Hobbs and Curtis Garrett will meet in a May runoff for Justice of the Peace of Precinct 5, Place 2, had a wide lead over Garrett and Jesse James Freelen, but didn’t get the clear majority required to win without a runoff.

Hobbs, the incumbent after being named by county commissioners in September 2012 to succeed Ernie Sparks following his retirement, got 41.69 percent of the vote to 29.44 percent for Garrett and 28.86 percent for Freelen out of 2,775 votes cast.

In the Precinct 5 constable race, incumbent Jimmy Hodges also is facing a runoff. He got 47.81 percent of the vote to 30.38 percent Gerry Don Hines and 21.81 percent for Jimmy Don Clark. So it’s a runoff between Hodges and Hines.

A total of 6,522 of the 28,698 registered voters in Lamar County cast ballots, a voter turnout of 22.73 percent.

Several Republican races only had one candidate in the primary, including Mike Malone for county judge, Bill Harris for county court at law judge, Kathy Marlowe for county clerk, Melanie Clifford for treasurer, Don Denison for Precinct 1 justice of the peace, Crystal N. Duke for Precinct 2 JP, Tim Risinger for Precinct 3 JP, and Ken Ruthart for Precinct 4 JP.

None of the Democrat candidates had challengers with incumbent Shirley Fults running for treasurer, incumbent Chuck Superville for county judge and Precinct 2 Commissioner Lonnie Layton seeking to retain his seat.

The races for county judge and Precinct 2 commissioner will be decided during November’s general election.

Here are the Lamar County vote totals in the contested races in the Republican Primary:

DISTRICT CLERK — Shawntel Golden 4,444 (78.06%), Susan Flanary-Turner 1,249 (21.94%). (Golden wins election.)

COUNTY COMMISSIONER, PRECINCT 2: David Niblett 317 (48.84%), Larry W. Davis 168 (25.89%), James Dunn 164 (25.27%). (Niblett and Davis will meet in May 27 runoff)

COUNTY COMMISSIONER, PRECINCT 4: Keith Mitchell 981 (52.60%), Billy Joe (B.J.) McCoy 981 (47.40%). (Mitchell wins election.)  

JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, PRECINCT 5, PLACE 2 — Gene C. Hobbs Jr. 1,157 (41.69%), Curtis Garrett 817 (29.44%), Jesse James Freelen 801 (28.86%). (Hobbs and Garrett will meet in May 27 runoff.)

CONSTABLE, PRECINCT 5 — Jimmy Hodges 1,177 (47.81%), Gerry Don Hines 748 (30.38%), Jimmy Don Clark 537 (21.81%). (Hodges and Hines will meet in May 27 runoff).

STATE REPRESENTATIVE — Gary Van Deaver 2,977 (60.22%), George Lavendar 1,966 (39.77%). Van Deaver also was leading in the four-county district, with 29 of 36 voting boxes in Lavendar’s home county of Bowie County still out. As of 12:45 a.m. today, Van Deaver led 7,073 (56.29%) to 5,494 (43.72%).

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