Tuesday, March 07, 2006

primary results - statewide elections

Chris Bell won the Democratic primary race for governor and will be the Democratic nominee that faces Rick Perry in November. Perry has been called as the winner of the Republican primary, polling at 85%.

Democrats chose former U.S. Rep. Chris Bell of Houston to be their gubernatorial nominee Tuesday, making him at least the second sure candidate on the November ballot.

Bell had 62.8 percent of the vote, while former Supreme Court Justice Bob Gammage had 28.6 percent, according to early returns. Houston store manager Rashad Jafer, who was not raising money, had 8.6 percent.

Bell will face Republican incumbent Gov. Rick Perry in November, while the independent candidates, Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn and singer/writer Kinky Friedman, now face an uphill climb to get enough petition signatures to get on the ballot as well.

Democratic nominees for Lt. Governor Maria Luisa Alvarado and Benjamin Grant will face each other in a runoff election. Alvarado received 40% of the vote, while Grant received nearly 39%. The two will face off to run against Republican incumbent David Dewhurst, who won the Republican primary with about 80% of the vote.

One of the biggest surprises of the night is the Democratic primary race for United States Senate. Many expected Barbara Ann Radnofsky to win in a landslide as she was the only visible candidate during campaign season. However, former nominee Gene Kelly won about 37% of the vote, with Radnofsky in the lead at 45%. The two candidates will take part in a runoff election to decide which of them will face Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison in the general election.

Hank Gilbert has been endorsed by voters and will be the next Democratic nominee for Agriculture Commissioner to attempt to unseat Republican incumbent Susan Combs.

Prop 1 and Prop 2 on the Democratic ballot have both passed, meaning that the state Democratic Party platform will reflect the voters' wishes to raise the minimum wage and restore full rights to a trial by jury in civil cases.

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