By Lynda Jones
Americans had national media pundits scratching their heads, wondering what alternative universe they had fallen into as presidential election results started rolling across their computer screens. Even the conservative Fox News team appeared shocked.
All predicted a close election. Most predicted Democrat Hillary Clinton would become the first female president of the United States by defeating her Republican opponent, Donald J. Trump. Instead, at 1:40 a.m. (Central DST) Wednesday, Nov. 9, Trump had 276 electoral votes. He needed 270 to win. Clinton had 218.
This is a historic moment for the United States. One reporter for a national media organization described Trump's election as "the greatest political upset of our lifetime".
On Jan. 20, 2017, he will become the 45th President of the United States, and the first to have never held a prior elected office or to have served in the military. He also will take office with his party holding the majority membership in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (now the Vice President-Elect), said as he introduced Trump as the President-Elect of the United States, "This is a historic night. The American people have spoken, and the American people have elected a new champion. The American people have elected a new president."
Trump and his family joined the Pence family on stage, with Trump saying, "I just received a phone call from Secretary Clinton and she congratulated us. That's right, it's about us (as he motioned to include the crowd), and I congratulated her and her family for a very hard fought campaign. We all owe her a debt of gratitude for her years of service to our country."
He spoke of the division in the country and said, "It's time to come together....I pledge to be president to all Americans, and that is so important to me."
He emphasized that "We must bind the wounds of our country."
He repeated what he has said previously, that his was not a campaign but a movement.
"It's a movement from all backgrounds, races and beliefs that want the government to serve them, the people," Trump said.
"The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. We are going to fix our inner cities ... we're going to rebuild our infrastructure... and we also, finally, will take care of our great veterans....Our veterans are incredible people."
The new President-Elect continued, "We have a great economic plan.... We will get along with all nations that are willing to get along with us."
Trump also spoke of the nation's unlimited potential, and the potential of all Americans.
"We must reclaim our country's destiny," he said, adding, "We will dream again."
Trump said further, "We will seek common ground, not hostility, to form partnerships."
In Houston County, Trump won an overwhelming majority of the 8,409 ballots counted on Tuesday night.
Unofficial results show the Trump/Pence ticket received 6,205 votes; Clinton/Tim Kaine, 1,978; Gary Johnson/William Weld (Libertarians), 90; and Jill Stein/Ajamu Baraka (Green Party), 29.
U. S. Representative, District 8, Kevin Brady (District 8 - R-Texas) was unopposed and received 6,314 Houston County votes.
Just prior to the announcement of Trump's victory, Brady issued the following statement:
"I'm honored voters sent me back to Congress to help change the direction of our country. As chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee I'm excited to lead the fight to fix America's broken tax code, repeal and replace ObamaCare, reform welfare and begin to save Medicare and Social Security for the long term.
"While the election for president is not yet determined as I make this statement, it has been a remarkable night and I am ready to work with my choice - Donald Trump and Mike Pence - to make America stronger, more prosperous and more secure."
Incumbent County Commissioner, Precinct 3, Pat Perry (R) won re-election with 1,124 votes in the only contested local race. His challenger, Reginald Berry (D), received 844 votes.
The unofficial results of other local races were:
District Judge, 3rd Judicial District, Mark Calhoon (R), 6,242;
District Judge, 349th Judicial District, Pam Foster Fletcher (R), 6,270;
District Attorney, 349th Judicial District, Donna Gordon Kaspar (R), 6,313;
County Attorney, Daphne Session (D), 4,461;
Sheriff, Darrel Bobbitt (R), 6,485;
County Tax Assessor-Collector, Danette Millican (D), 4,584;
Commissioner, Precinct 1, Gary Lovell (R), 1,776;
Constable, Precinct 1, Morris E. Luker (R), 2,981;
Constable, Precinct 2, Kenneth "Red" Smith, 3,365.
In the statewide race for Railroad Commissioner, Wayne Christian (R) won with 4,614,801 votes (53.18%). He was opposed by Grady Yarbrough (D), who received 3,324,884 votes (38.31%); Mark Miller (LIB), 457,894 votes (5.27%); and Martina Salinas (GRN), 279,779 votes (3.22%). Those votes are based on 8,061 of 8,187 precincts reporting (98.46%).
In Houston County, Christian received 5,890 votes; Yarbrough, 1,943; Miller, 187; and Salinas, 70.
Results of other statewide races are as follows:
- Justice, Supreme Court, Place 3 went to incumbent Debra Lehrmann (R), who received 4,772,493 votes (54.94%), with 8,061 of 8,187 precincts reporting (98.46%). Her opponents were Mike Westergren (D), 3,340,313 votes (38.45%); Kathie Glass (LIB), 345,042 votes (3.97%); and Rodolfo Rivera Munoz (GRN), 227,937 votes (2.62%).
Houston County voted as follows: Lehrmann, 5,837; Westergren, 1,961; Glass, 183; Munoz, 54.
- Justice, Supreme Court, Place 5: Incumbent Paul Green (R), 4,723,008 (54.40%); Dori Contreras Garza (D), 3,565,566 (41.07%; Tom Oxford (LIB), 285,837 (3.29%); Charles E. Waterbury (GRN), 106,335 (1.22%) with 8,061 of 8,187 precincts reporting (98.46%).
Houston County voted: Green, 5,901; Garza, 1,922; Oxford, 136; Waterbury, 66.
- Justice, Supreme Court, Place 9: Incumbent Eva Guzman (R), 4,843,761 (55.86%); Savanah Robinson (D), 3,407,499 (39.30%); Don Fulton (LIB), 301,658 (3.47%); Jim Chisholm (GRN), 117,449 (1.35%) with 8,061 of 8,187 precincts reporting (98.46%).
Houston County voted: Guzman, 5,781; Robinson, 1,946; Fulton, 197; Chisolm, 89.
- Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 2: Mary Lou Keel (R), 4,758,805 (54.91%); Incumbent Lawrence "Larry" Meyers, 3,467,264 (40.01%); Mark Ash (LIB), 318,986 (3.68%); Adam King Blackwell Reposa (GRN), 120,188 (1.38%) with 8,061 of 8,187 precincts reporting (98.46%).
Houston County voted: Keel, 5,748; Meyers, 2,055; Ash, 184; Reposa, 39.
- Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 5: Scott Walker (R), 4,750,416 votes (54.78%); Betsy Johnson (D), 3,482,829 (40.16%); William Bryan Strange, III (LIB), 247,258 (2.85%); Judith Sanders-Castro (GRN), 190,083 (2.19%) with 8,061 of 8,187 precincts reporting (98.46%).
Houston County voted: Walker, 5,915; Johnson, 1,923; Strange, 111; Sanders-Castro, 65;
- Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 6: Incumbent Michael E. Keasler (R), 4,753,026 (55.01%); Robert Burns (D), 3,529,187 (40.85%); Mark W. Bennett (LIB), 356,927 (4.13%) with 8,061 of 8,187 precincts reporting (98.46%).
Houston County voted: Keasler, 5,786; Burns, 2,003; Bennett, 199.
- Member, State Board of Education, District 8: Barbara Cargill (R) was unopposed and received 6,218 votes in Houston County.
- State Representative, District 57: Incumbent Trent Ashby (R) was unopposed and received 6,461 votes in Houston County.
- Justice, 12th Court of Appeals District, Place 2: Brian Hoyle (R) was unopposed and received 6,165 votes in Houston County.
- Justice, 12th Court of Appeals District, Place 3, Unexpired Term: Greg Neely (R) was unopposed and received 6,139 votes in Houston County.