Cruz, Clinton take Texas, Runoff set for House

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Presidential Nominations

The Super Tuesday primary voting came to a close in Texas at 7 pm CST on March 1, with Senator Ted Cruz and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton taking home wins.

On Super Tuesday, 12 states hold their primary elections in one of the biggest events in the primary season. In Texas alone, 377 delegates are up for grabs: 155 Republican and 222 Democratic.

With 53 percent reporting at the time of publication, Cruz won the Republican primary vote in Texas with 43.1 percent of the vote and 32 pledged delegates out of 155. Donald Trump — though he was polling at only a three point deficit according to the February 29 results from Real Clear Politics – trails in the Texas vote by 15.7 points with 27.4 percent of the vote and 14 pledged delegates.

With 51 percent reporting, Clinton won the Democratic primary vote in Texas with 66.4 percent of the vote and 120 pledged delegates out of 222. Senator Bernie Sanders came in at a 35.5 point deficit with 30.9 percent of the vote and only 42 delegates. Bernie’s numbers are an improvement from the February 29 polls by five points.

The race for the Republican nomination in Texas was close, though throughout the month of February Cruz held a commanding lead upwards of 10 points. As of Real Clear Politics’ reporting on February 29, that lead shrank from 14 points last polled to only three points – well within the margin of error at 4.6 percent.

Students and residents around Huntsville came to the Walker County Annex to cast votes for their choices.

Senior James Sears voted for Sanders in the Super Tuesday primary.

“A lot of his policies, I believe, will be better not only for people my age but also for the general economy of the United States,” he said. “Free college is always good.”

62 percent of Americans share that sentiment, according to a poll by the Washington Examiner taken in August 2015.

Baylie Reed, a student at Huntsville High School, voted for Dr. Ben Carson.

“I voted for Ben Carson because on top of him being a very intelligent individual, he also believes in the Second Amendment, and he believes in the Constitution and he believes in limited government,” she said. “I think that’s what America needs right now.”

Ken Hendrickson of Huntsville voted for Senator Marco Rubio.

“He is the most responsible conservative in the race,” he said, “I just want to support that.”

State Representative

Another big race and one of the most talked about locally was for state representative in Texas House District 18, a seat vacated by longtime Rep. John Otto who has decided to retire.

With a slim margin of victory, Keith Strahan of Liberty County won 28.24 percent of the votes, followed closely by Ernest Bailes of San Jacinto County with 25.92 percent of the votes.

With none of the six candidates running for District 18 receiving a majority of the votes cast in the Republican primary, a runoff election will be held between the top two candidates, according to Walker County Elections Manager Julie Cooper.

“[Strahan is] very accessible through the phone, email and even social media, which makes me believe he would truly speak to his constituents and listen to their wants and needs,” junior criminal justice and political science major Leah Boyd said. “He’s also a great champion for the 2nd Amendment and small government, which are two issues I support completely.”

U.S. Representative Kevin Brady of The Woodlands faced three challengers in the Republican Primary in perhaps his most difficult primary contest of his 10-term career as representative for the 8th Congressional District.

With 74 percent of precincts reporting, Brady held a slim majority lead with 52.69 percent of votes.

Former state legislator Steve Toth was not far behind, earning 38.12 percent of the votes.

Brady, who was recently appointed Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, faced a particularly difficult primary fight due to the recent wave of anti-establishment sentiment among GOP primary voters.

“Although Brady has done a good job for U.S. House District 8, I feel that his inconsistent voting record has negatively affected our district,” junior public relations major Taylor Shepard said. “We need a rep who is tough and will stand up for conservative values and not waiver based on Washington politics.”

Brady performed better in Walker County, winning 54.83 percent of the votes with Toth trailing close behind at 31.9 percent.

Despite Brady’s superior fundraising ability, the early election results yielded a much closer race.

Brady’s campaign fundraised $1,802,633 compared to $131,504 for Toth, according to opensecrets.org