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Early returns suggest Kerr County runoff for Pct. 2

Sonya Hooten, Rich Paces hold early leads in commissioner's court battle.

Early voting results show Kerr County Precinct 2 Commissioner's Court candidates Sonya Hooten and Rich Paces headed for a May 24 runoff election to fill the seat.

On the first primary election of the year, millions of Texas voters picked their party preferences in partisan races, including hotly contested races for governor and attorney general.

In Kerr County, the race to replace Beck Gibson on the commissioner's court was an intense battle between four candidates, but in the end, on Tuesday night, it appeared Hooten and Paces were in a tight race, with both commanding more than 30% of the Republican vote.

Hooten had the backing of former Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer and former Pct. 2 Commissioner Tom Moser, while Paces had the support of hardline conservatives, including the Kerr County Patriots.

Far-right groups had backed other candidates as well, including Wesley Virdell, who challenged District 53 Rep. Andrew Murr in the Republican primary. Murr, however, had a sizable lead with early voters, including those in Kerr County. Murr held a campaign watch party at Arcadia Live on Tuesday night in Kerrville.

Another close race was the open seat for State Senate District 24 and former state Sen. Pete Flores was leading in early returns over Raul Reyes and Lamar Lewis.

In the governor's race, Greg Abbott was in command of the race — to the surprise of no one. Despite efforts from far-right groups to back Allen West and Don Huffines, the Abbott machine appeared headed toward an election showdown with Democrat Beto O'Rourke.

Attorney General Ken Paxton was ahead of his three challengers — Eva Guzman, George P. Bush and Louie Gohmert — but not enough to stave off a runoff.


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