State Supreme Court
Supeme Court justice Debra Lehrmann was leading challenger Michael Massengale for Place 3 in incomplete, unofficial returns early Tuesday night.
“I hope that trend continues,” said Lehrmann, a Colleyville resident. “We’ll see, hopefully, that we got the word out to the voters about my body of work.”
Lehrmann has served six years on the state’s highest civil court.
She had 55.2 percent of the early returns.
Massengale, an appellate judge in Houston, had 45 percent. Massengale is a graduate of Southwest High School in Fort Worth.
In November, the winner will face Democrat Mike Westergren, who was unopposed in the primary
The race for Place 5 on the high court was between two men with the same last name, which raised the possibility of voters mixing up the candidates.
Place 5 incumbent Paul W. Green was leading Rick Green, an attorney and a former Texas legislator, 52 to 48 percent, according to early, unofficial returns. Paul Green was seeking a third term on the court.
The winner will face Democrat Dori Garza, who was unopposed in the primary.
In Place 9, Judge Eva Guzman was easily defeating her challenger, Dripping Springs attorney Joe Pool, 68 to 32 percent.
The winner will face Democrat Savannah Robinson, who was unopposed in the primary.
The theme of the Republican primary was whether the court has deviated from its purpose: to interpret the state constitution. Challenger Rick Green described himself as a “constitutional watchdog,” and two others said they wanted to restore respect for Texas law to the court.
Incumbents, meanwhile, fired back that their opponents were unfit to serve on the bench because of a lack of experience.
“We live in a very red state,” Paul W. Green said. “All the judges on the Supreme Court of Texas are very conservative. None of us are activist judges.”
Court of Criminal Appeals
On the state’s highest criminal court, places 2, 5, and 6 were on the Republican primary ballot. Place 5 incumbent Cheryl Johnson, on the court since 1998, did not seek another term, so at least one new face is expected to join the court in 2017.
Place 6 incumbent Michael Keasler was comfortably ahead of challenger Richard Davis, a general law practice attorney in Marble Falls, according to early, incomplete results. Keasler had 70.3 percent, Davis 29.6 percent.
In November, the winner will face Democrat Robert D. Burns, who was unopposed.
The Place 5 race was close. Fort Worth criminal defense attorney Scott Walker had 38.6 percent; Brent Webster, an assistant district attorney in Williamson County, had 26.5 percent; Sid Harle, a criminal state district judge, had 22 percent; and former state Supreme Court Justice Steve Smith had 13.15 percent.
The winner in November will face Democrat Betsy Johnson, who was unopposed.
The winner of a three-way Republican race for Place 2 will face Justice Lawrence Meyers of Fort Worth, the only Democrat in a statewide office, in the November election. Meyers ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.
The candidates were Mary Lou Keel, judge of the 232nd state District Court in Harris County; Chris Oldner, judge of 416th state District Court in Collin County; and Ray Wheless, judge of the 366th state District Court in Collin County.
In early, unofficial results, Wheless was the front-runner with 51.6 percent of the vote. Keel had 32.8 percent, and Oldner had 15.6 percent.
Texas Railroad Commissioner
Several candidates ran for an open seat on the Railroad Commission.
In the Republican primary, the leaders in early returns were Wayne Christian with 30 percent and Gary Gates with 27 percent.
Others candidates were Lance N. Christian, 12.13 percent; Weston Martinez, 8 percent; Ron Hale, 13.62 percent; John Greytok, 4 percent; and Doug Jeffrey, 6.16 percent.
In the Democratic primary, former Fort Worth state lawmaker Lon Burnam was in the lead with 44.26 percent of the vote. Grady Yarbrough had 32.48 percent, and Cody Garrett, 23.26 percent.