BRENHAM, Texas — State Representative Lois Kolkhorst celebrated her decisive victory in the Senate District 18 election with family and grassroots supporters in Brenham last night. A special election was called when Senator Glenn Hegar resigned after he won his election in the Texas Comptroller race in November.
Kolkhorst won the election by an impressive 21.5 point margin and avoided a run-off in a field of five candidates. Republican Gary Gates outspent the State Representative by an almost 2-1 margin but came in at 34.21 percent. Breitbart Texas was in Brenham to interview the Senator-Elect and her happy supporters.
Kolkhorst, a native of Brenham, held her election night party at the Giddings Stone mansion there. Built in 1870, the Greek revival architecture and massive Doric columns were festively decorated for Christmas and provided a perfect venue for the happy occasion.
Kolkhorst spoke with Breitbart Texas and attributed her win to the hard work of her many grassroots supporters. She said many had predicted a run-off but her team kept working and they knew their message was strong. She said she would bring the same work ethic to the Texas Senate. Governor-Elect Greg Abbott called Kolkhorst to congratulate her.
Kolkhorst said her “campaign was earned, not bought, by the grassroots people. We had tremendous grassroots support. People would call us, contribute to us, walk for us, and they phoned potential voters from their homes.” She told Breitbart Texas, “I am not shy about my faith. There were times when I had tears in my eyes with staffers.” She added that her faith kept her strong during the race when one of the candidates engaged in a negative campaign. She said her win was a victory for conservatives.
The State Representative is proud of her record, including her battles with the Trans-Texas Corridor and Medicaid. She said her record is not perfect, but she has taken tough stands when she needed to for her district. She is looking forward to fighting for folks in her district.
Breitbart Texas spoke with Kaye Goolsby, Statewide Grassroots Chairman for Senator Ted Cruz, and Statewide Leadership Chair for Attorney General-Elect Ken Paxton. Goolsby said “This is a great win for SD 18 and the State of Texas.”
Marc Young, Vice President of the Republicans of Austin County, said his run for Congress taught him just how important local representation is. He said Kolkhorst fought for him and other landowners when he almost lost his farmland to the Trans-Texas Corridor.
Kolkhorst received the endorsements of Governor Rick Perry, Governor-Elect Greg Abbott, and Senator Hegar. She was endorsed by groups like Texans for Lawsuit Reform, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, the National and State Rifle Associations, the Texas Home School Coalition, the Texas Farm Bureau AGFund, and many other conservative groups. She was endorsed by law enforcement associations such as TMPA and the Texas Department of Public Safety Officers Association, and 13 of the 21 Republican County Chairs in her district.
Michael Quinn Sullivan, President of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, was thrilled with her victory. He said “Citizens in SD18 recognized that Lois Kolkhorst will fight for them in the state senate. She goes with a clear mandate into a strongly reform-minded Senate where she will fit right in.”
Cyndee Smith spoke to Breitbart Texas and said “The thing about Lois that grabs me is her passion. I have always been a Texan, and Lois reignites your passion about Texas. She is the ‘Real Deal,’ she is honest and has integrity, but if I had one word to describe her – it’s Passion. It’s not about self, it’s about the people she represents.”
Betty McCarty said she and Chris Steinbach “have been with Lois since the beginning and it has been a great ride. She deserves it and will do a great job.”
Sun-burned teenagers Tori Bosse, Maddie Rybarski, and Drake Pawlowski, were at the celebration. They held campaign signs at intersections for ten hours on Saturday. Tori made hundreds of calls to folks in different counties.
Kolkhurst and her husband Jim, have two children, Lois Kate and Jake. Fourteen-year-old Lois Kate made hundreds of phone calls, and told her pastor that she was asking parishioners to vote for her mother while in church because “she wanted to save her Christmas”. Jake helped his mom when campaigning by bidding for and winning the high bid for a parakeet at an auction. He told his mom at an event in Refugio County that they had been outworked and outspent and needed to participate in the auction. The Kolkhorst’s named the parakeet “Victory.”
The Senator-Elect will serve out Hegar’s term which expires in 2016. Kolkhorst is expected to be sworn in next week, and a special election will be held for her seat. Becky Berger, who ran for Texas Railroad Commissioner, announced in November her intention to run if the seat became available. Austin County Judge Carolyn Bilski confirmed that she is running.
Merry Christmas Lois Kate and Jake.
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.
Photo of Senator-Elect Kolkhorst and Kaye Goolsby.
[Disclosure: Michael Quinn Sullivan is a contributing writer for Breitbart Texas.]