Hulsey, Wood elected county commissioners, Dodson to take over as constable

By Kathryn Jones

Editor

Somervell County voters overwhelmingly favored Republican Mitt Romney for president and elected two county commissioners and a constable in contested races.

Record turnout in early voting helped boost the county’s total voter turnout to 62.63 percent. Early voting accounted for more than 38 percent of the turnout, with 2,171 votes cast.

See the complete county results here:  2012_PRESIDENTIAL_GENERAL_ELECTION_DETAIL

Republicans swept the county races.

Kenneth “Woody” Wood  won his bid for the County Commissioner, Precinct 3, seat with 588 votes, or more than 67 percent of the vote, to Democrat Marty McPherson’s 288 votes, or just under 33 percent. Earlier, McPherson was released from an Arlington hospital after surgery to remove a kidney and part of his colon.

Wood told the Current that he wanted to thank his supporters and was looking forward to being sworn in on Jan. 1.

“I’m ready to get started working for the county in January,” he said.

Republican Larry Hulsey was unopposed in his bid for County Commissioner, Precinct 1. He received 682 votes.

Another closely watched race was for Constable, Precinct 2. Republican Craig Dodson received 1,182 votes, or 69.9 percent, to incumbent Alan Thompson’s 508 votes, or just over 30 percent.

Dodson said he “looked forward to Jan. 1 and getting started” with his county job.

“I’d like to thank all of the supporters and look forward to serving the citizens of Somervell County,” he said.

Elected in uncontested races were Andrew Lucas for county attorney, with 2,909 votes; Greg Doyle, sheriff, with 3,065 votes; Darlene Chambers, tax assessor-collector, with 3,033 votes; Karolee Wolfe, constable, Precinct 1, with 1,458 votes; Dale Hanna, district attorney, with 2,810 votes; and John E. Neill, district judge, 18th Judicial District, with 2,835 votes.

As in previous years, a crowd of people gathered on the Somervell County Courthouse square to see the results posted. But instead of posting the results using markers on big white boards hung from the gazebo roof, the county used a new projection system and white screen to post the results. Early voting returns were not posted shortly after the polls closed at 7 p.m., as has been done in the past.

Residents waited for several hours in chilly temperatures, some grousing that they didn’t like the change from posting by hand to projecting the results, which had to be carried from the Somervell County Annex to the projector on a thumb drive. Then the early totals were posted and the right report had to be fetched.

County Election Administrator Cathy Thomas said that all precincts had voters waiting before the polls opened at 7 a.m. A steady stream of voters cast ballots throughout the day.

Voters also encountered another new piece of technology for the first time in this election — computerized sign-in systems for registered voters rather than the paper rolls used in the past. The system was designed to speed up the process of checking in registered voters, Thomas said.

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