Thursday, November 6, 2008





Sheriff races decided
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Republican sweeps in all three area counties were reflected in sheriff’s races.
Incumbents were returned to office in both Kaufman County and Van Zandt County.
Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes was unopposed for a third term Tuesday (see related story, page 4A), while incumbent Van Zandt County Sheriff R.P. “Pat” Burnett also picked up another term.
The most hotly contested race, by far, was for Henderson County sheriff.
Incumbent sheriff Ronny Brownlow announced last year he would be retiring after nearly 45 years in law enforcement, and officially stepped down July 31.
Brownlow recommended chief deputy Mark Jordan as his replacement, and after seeking applications, appointed Jordan as the interim sheriff.
Jordan made it clear he would not be seeking election to the office, as he also intended to retire after more than 20 years in law enforcement to pursue business opportunities.
Veteran lawman Ray Nutt, who retired as a Texas Ranger, and had served in the district attorney’s office before joining Brownlow’s staff, sought the Republican nomination in the March primary election.
Nutt was opposed by then assistant chief deputy “Tony” Allison and patrol deputy Mitch Baker, but nearly won the nomination outright before defeating Allison in a runoff.
On the Democratic side, Bill Casey, a former Air Force administrator and veteran lawman, was unopposed for the nomination.
Tuesday, Nutt collected more than 62 percent of the vote, defeating Casey 13,520 to 8,167.
In Van Zandt County, Burnett was opposed for the second time by Wills Point police administrator and former deputy Deborah Davis.
“I am blessed not to only live in Van Zandt County, but to represent the people here, as well,” Burnett said late Tuesday.
“I am humbled by this victory, and, as always, citizens can call me anytime, day or night,” he added. “That’s what I’m here for.”
“Well, we tried,” Davis said. “I’m disappointed, but I’m not through.
“It’s been great,” she added. “It’s been fun meeting people, and I have met a lot of new people.”

Betty Brown wins
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Henderson and Kaufman county voters overwhelmingly returned State Rep. Betty Brown to office for a sixth term.
Brown captured more than 60 percent of the vote in both counties, one of the largest percentages in competitive Texas House races.
“It has been my great pleasure to represent both Henderson and Kaufman counties,” Brown said. “I look forward to returning to Austin to prevent illegal immigrants from voting in our elections.”
Getting a photo ID bill to pass in the Senate as well as the House has been Brown’s continuing emphasis since 2007. On that issue, Republicans have voted for it, while Democrats have opposed the bill.
Democratic challenger Victor Morales garnered 36 percent of the vote in Kaufman and 33 percent in Henderson County.
Libertarian candidate James Yow was selected by fewer than 1,500 voters.
Brown is proud of her legislative accomplishments, which include lawsuit reform to attract more doctors and specialists to the state, and reforms in education financing.
“Texas has a surplus, not debt. Texas has been ranked the number one place to do business in the nation. The reason for all of this is we in the Legislature have made tough decisions and we plan ahead,” she said.
Appointed to serve as chairman of the Budget Oversight for the Agriculture and Livestock Committee for the 78th, 79th and 80th Legislatures, Brown again will be on the Appropriations Committee.

Kids go the polls in droves
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Reporter

MABANK–Students at three Mabank elementary schools and Kemp Intermediate were among the 85,833 Texas school children participating in the largest-ever kids mock-presidential election program the day before the General Election.
Sponsored by American Legacy Publishing, producers of Studies Weekly® – a newszine-styled textbook lesson – the voting program registered four million school kids nationwide from kindergarten to sixth grade.
Kids voted through the Internet, with tallies updated every 10 minutes.
At Central Elementary, classes filed one at a time through the library throughout the day, presenting their voter registration and proceeding to one of 24 computer notebooks to cast their electronic vote.
Library personnel were dressed in red, white and blue, flags decorated the tables and a projection screen displayed the updated tallies of votes being counted after the student completed his voting.
Kids put the Republican McCain-Palin ticket over the top by wide margins at all three Mabank schools.
However by the end of the day, Democratic candidate Barack Obama swept the country, leaving only eight states in the red.
In the past, mock elections conducted by school children reflected the views of their parents.
However, since this is the largest mock election ever conducted, the results may reflect differently.
In Mabank, 1,380 children cast votes, both electronically and by paper ballot, to track the district’s individual results.
Republican John McCain won the majority with 674 votes, while Obama garnered 406 votes.
“We’ve been preparing for this event since April,” Mabank head librarian told The Monitor. “It was one way to encourage everyone to vote.”
Lest one think that a publishing company is able to accurately count and record votes better and faster than the government, there was a small problem experienced that necessitated a re-vote the following day.
Apparently a one-minute delay between voters was overridden by many schools in the interest of time. That meant some votes were not counted and others were in danger of being recorded twice.
Also, some schools had Monday off, and couldn’t vote.
The publisher offered a redo the following day, this time with only a 10-second delay between voters.

Copyright © 2008, MediaOne, L.L.C.