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Incumbents win re-election in Midlothian races

Tobey, Walton to return to MISD board; Sibley wins another Council term; Place 6 heads to runoff

Bill Spinks
Midlothian Mirror

In separate races that held lots of interest for differing reasons, incumbent candidates Tami Tobey and Andrea Walton unofficially won re-election to the Midlothian ISD board of trustees on Tuesday night.

Incumbent Place 1 councilmember Wayne Sibley won re-election to his Midlothian City Council seat, and the Place 6 special election to complete the term of the late Art Pierard will go to a runoff between Hud Hartson and Tiffany Robinson Carra.

Tobey, whose revelation of photographs showing her wearing blackface at a Halloween party a number of years ago surfaced in June, picked up 13,369 votes or just over 60 percent to propel her to re-election in Place 6 against challengers David Thomas and Will Marks, avoiding a runoff. Marks finished with 4,471 votes and Thomas had 4,429.

“I am truly humbled by the community support at the polls,” Tobey said in a Facebook posting. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart — for your unwavering support throughout this journey! I am honored to continue serving the students, teachers and taxpayers of MISD.”

In a race for Place 7 that tightened significantly in same-day voting, Walton held on to her board of trustees seat with 11,957 votes or 51,82 percent. Walton had held a 4-percent lead in the early voting over challenger Taya Kyle.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the texts, emails, people that stopped by, held a sign, voted, encouraged us today and shared family stories or anytime in the last 12 months,” Walton said on social media. “Your support means the world to me, but also it means community. Your kids are important!”

Kyle, the widow of American Sniper author Chris Kyle and president of the Chris Kyle Foundation, announced in August she was withdrawing from the school board race, but quietly remained in the race and participated in the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce’s candidate forum last month.

In the city of Midlothian, two City Council races were being contested, but only one was resolved on Tuesday night. In the final unofficial tabulation for Place 1, Sibley finished with 8,442 votes to 6,288 for challenger Dustin Slayton. In the early voting, Sibley led Slayton 7,636-5,657.

Four candidates —Hartson, Carra, Allen Moorman and Jacob Wallace — were vying to fill the unexpired term left vacant by Pierard’s death in a traffic accident in February. In the final numbers, Hartson led with 6,595 votes or 45.54 percent, while Carra was second with 4,052 votes or 27.98 percent.

Mayor Richard Reno was unopposed for re-election, and Walter Darrach was unopposed to fill the Place 2 seat being vacated by Mike Rodgers.

The final unofficial vote totals were tabulated as of 10:07 p.m. on Tuesday night.

A total of 85,810 Ellis County voters cast ballots in the election, for a total turnout of 71.21 percent. Of that total, a record 70,210 voted early in person, while 10,361 voted on the day of the election and 5,239 sent in absentee ballots.

Though the voting was a lot closer in statewide races, Ellis County remained solidly red in Tuesday’s general election, outpacing the rest of Texas with overwhelming support of Republican candidates.

Every GOP nominee in partisan races on the county ballot received roughly 2-to-1 support against Democratic opposition from local voters. President Donald Trump won 66.21 percent of the vote in Ellis County over 32.15 percent for Democratic challenger Joe Biden, while Sen. John Cornyn similarly picked up 67.06 percent to Democrat Mary “MJ” Hegar’s 30.27 percent in winning re-election.

Cornyn won re-election statewide, holding off a strong challenge from Hegar by a 53.60-48.78 margin. Trump carried Texas by a roughly 52-46 margin, a much wider margin than some polls were indicating. Texas has not voted for a Democrat for president since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

The same ratio held true down the ballot, as U.S. Rep. Ron Wright won a second term to Congress with a 67.63-percent vote in comparison with 29.22 percent for Democrat Stephen Daniel in the county, although the district as a whole was much tighter, with Wright taking 52.87 percent. GOP nominees for Railroad Commissioner, State Board of Education and various judgeships all carried Ellis County in the 67-to-70-percent range.

State Sen. Brian Birdwell easily won re-election to his District 22 seat with a more than 2-to-1 winning margin over Democrat Robert Vick. Jake Ellzey, the GOP nominee for the open Texas House District 10 seat, had no Democratic opposition and defeated Libertarian Matt Savino with more than 75 percent.

No county-level candidates received opposition in the general election.