AUSTIN, Texas — State Representative Lois Kolkhorst has won the special election for Senate District 18 outright, with a large enough margin to avoid a runoff.
Kolkhorst took an early lead in early voting, 55 percent to businessman Gary Gates’ 34 percent, along three other contenders who won single digit percentages, and that margin held as the votes from Election Day were tallied. The final count after 100 percent of the precincts had reported was 55.69 percent for Kolkhorst and 34.21 percent for Gates. Turnout was higher than both campaigns expected.
The SD18 seat became open after the district’s current Senator, Glenn Hegar, won election to be Texas’ next Comptroller in the November elections. The Texas Constitution barred Hegar from holding both his State Senate seat and the Comptroller’s office, and he submitted his resignation letter to Governor Perry last month, as Breitbart Texas reported. Perry promptly set the special election date for December 8th.
Kolkhorst was widely viewed as the more conservative candidate, securing endorsements from Texas Right to Life, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Young Conservatives of Texas, as well as Perry and Attorney General and Governor-elect Greg Abbott, although Gates was able to tout support from former Congressman Ron Paul. Kolkhorst had another key advantage in not only being endorsed by Hegar, but several of Hegar’s campaign staffers assisted her campaign.
— Megan Titford (@titford_megan) December 6, 2014
Kolkhorst will serve the remainder of Hegar’s term, which will expire in 2016.
UPDATE: After her victory was official Saturday evening, Kolkhorst posted thank you messages to her supporters on her social media accounts. On Facebook, she wrote, “We did it! Thank you everyone! I am so honored that you have elected me as your next Texas Senator! Let’s continue to fight for the conservative principles that make Texas great!” She also posted a Tweet:
Thank you Senate District 18! Victory! pic.twitter.com/86q8npfgwu
— Lois W. Kolkhorst (@loiskolkhorst) December 7, 2014
Photo: Lois Kolkhorst via Facebook.
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