Tarrant congressional incumbents win primary bids

Texas’ primary election is Tuesday.
Texas’ primary election is Tuesday.

Tarrant County congressional members won their re-election primary bids late Tuesday night.

They include Republican Reps. Joe Barton of Ennis and Michael Burgess of Lewisville and Democratic Rep. Marc Veasey, election reports showed.

At the same time, Democrat Ruby Fay Woolridge, was chosen to challenge Barton in November, and Republican M. Mark Mitchell won the bid to challenge Veasey in November.

Vote tallies were slow to come in late Tuesday, after a record number of local voters cast ballots early and a large number of voters headed to the polls on election day.

Each congressional race is for a two-year term that pays $174,000 a year.

The turnout at some polling places, particularly in Keller and Hallmark Baptist in Fort Worth, was so great late Tuesday that final voters didn’t cast their votes until well after 8 p.m., some closer to 9 p.m.

Anyone in line by 7 p.m. could vote.

In congressional races, each for a two-year term that pays $174,000 a year, the average cost to run a campaign was between $1.2 million and $1.5 million in 2014, said Kyle Kondik, managing editor for Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

Here’s a look at the local contested congressional races in Tarrant County, according to unofficial state election results.

District 6

In the three-way battle for this congressional seat, Barton, the 30-year-plus incumbent, claimed 68 percent of the vote, once all the votes were tallied.

“I am very humbled to receive such an overwhelming vote of confidence,” he said in a statement Wednesday morning. “I will proudly carry the Republican banner in the general election this fall.”

Challengers Collin Baker, an automotive service director, picked up 9 percent; Steven Fowler, a part-time Air National Guard officer and student, earned 22 percent.

On the Democratic side of the battle, Woolridge, a retired educator, garnered 69 percent of the vote. Don Jaquess, a retired widower, picked up 12 percent, and Jeffrey Roseman, a limo and truck driver, accrued 17 percent of the vote.

Barton and Woolridge will face off in November for District 6, which includes most of Arlington and Mansfield and all of Ellis and Navarro counties.

District 26

Burgess, an obstetrician for nearly 30 years who was first elected in 2002 after defeating Scott Armey, son of House Majority Leader and then-U.S. Rep. Dick Armey of Denton County, handily claimed 79 percent of the vote.

Fellow Republicans Joel Krause, president/owner of Webb Electronics, picked up 14 percent, and Micah Beebe, a real estate agent, garnered 6 percent of the vote.

Burgess will face Democrat Eric Mauck in November for this district that covers all of Denton County, part of Wise County and a patch of northern Tarrant County, including Westlake, north Keller and far north Fort Worth.

District 33

Veasey, a former state representative first elected four years ago to represent District 33, picked up 63 percent of the vote.

“As your congressman, I will continue to fight for what is important to North Texas,” Veasey said. “Whether it is protecting the jobs that keep our economy growing stronger or ensuring that families from all walks of life can be kept together, I promise to never stop working hard for you in Washington.”

Democratic challenger Carlos Quintanilla, a vocal activist who unsuccessfully sought the post in 2012, drew 36 percent of the vote.

On the Republican side, Mitchell, who has medical and law degrees, bested Bruce Chadwick, a longtime entertainer and former illusionist, in the battle to be on the ballot in November.

Mitchell claimed 52 percent of the vote to Chadwick’s 47 percent, according to voting reports.

This district, created four years ago to give North Texas minority voters a chance to elect a representative of their choice, stretches from the Fort Worth Stockyards to the Oak Cliff section of Dallas.

Anna M. Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley

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