Analysis: A good night to be a Texas Republican
What happened Tuesday, and in the weeks and months before, that made the 2010 election one of unprecedented success for the Milam County Republican Party?
First, it was a good night to be a Republican, especially in Texas.
The nationwide GOP surge was reflected strongly in down-ballot races in deep-red Texas with Republicans unseating at least 20 incumbent Democrats in the state legislature.
The 2010 effort by the Milam County Republican Party was the strongest ever, with a solid year of campaigning, advertising and “meet and greet” efforts.
There was even a contested GOP primary race, another first. The candidate in that primary race, Sam Berry, went on to win on Tuesday
Milam Republicans also benefitted from a strong top-of-the-ballot race featuring a popular incumbent governor and a showcase top-of-the-county-ballot race featuring a strong candidate for county judge.
That all translated into a good head start for Milam GOP Republican candidates. There were 1,296 straight ticket Republican ballots cast and 1,118 Democrat straight tickets.
CAMERON MARGIN— Dave Barkemeyer, in his successful quest to become Milam County’s first Republican County Judge since General Sherman campaigned in Georgia, carried Rockdale’s three boxes over incumbent Democrat Frank Summers by a combined 862 to 836.
The former Cameron mayor carried Cameron by a larger margin, 984 to 885. His best precinct was Cameron 101 where he piled up a 609 to 494 margin.
Barkemeyer also ran strong at smaller boxes in Buckholts and Gause, carrying each by about 100 votes.
SHOCKER— The night’s shocker was the race for Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace where GOP newcomer Andy Isaacs defeated incumbent Democrat Twila Harris—the longest-serving elected official in Milam County— by 22 votes, 798 to 776.
Harris has been Precinct 3 JP for more than 25 years. She was appointed to the post in April, 1985, upon the death of Leonard Allen and was re-elected in 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006, mostly without opposition.
Harris carried Rockdale by a strong 473 to 331 margin but Isaacs won by taking Milano, 276 to 198, and Gause, 191 to 105. —M.B.