EDINBURG, RGV – The excitement generated by the GOP presidential race reached South Texas on Super Tuesday as Republican turnout doubled in some places.
The Ted Cruz-Donald Trump battle in Texas led to more votes for down ballot elections, thus impacting races such as the open Congressional District 15 race.
In the Republican Party primary for CD 15, none of the three candidates secured 50 percent of the votes and so a runoff will take place in May between Tim Westley of Schertz and Ruben Villarreal of Rio Grande City. More than 29,000 votes were cast, with Westley securing 45.3 percent and Villarreal 31.4 percent.
As expected, a runoff will be required in the Democratic Party primary also for CD 15. It will be between Vicente Gonzalez and Sonny Palacios. In a six-person race, Gonzalez secured 42.2 percent and Palacios 18.8 percent.
In the presidential race, Hillary Clinton easily won in South Texas counties in the Democratic Party primary while Cruz edged out Trump in the Republican Party primary. In Cameron County it was close, though, with Cruz picking up 4,451 votes and Trump 4,286.
There will also be a runoff for Cameron County Judge. Former Brownsville Mayor Eddie Treviño and Cameron County Commissioner Dan Sanchez.
In the hotly contested Texas House District 36 race, state Rep. Sergio Muñoz of Mission comfortably defeated challenger Abraham Padron. In Texas House District 37, state Rep. René Oliveira also won re-election.
There will be a new face on Hidalgo County Commissioners Court at the beginning of next year. Challenger David Fuentes of Weslaco narrowly won the Precinct 1 race against incumbent A.C. Cuellar, 50.7 percent to 49.2 percent.
There will be a runoff in the race for the 449th State District Court judgeship. Incumbent Jesse Contreras won 40.8 percent of the vote while challenger Rena Rodriguez-Betancourt secured 45.0 percent of the vote.
The Democratic Party candidate for justice on the 13th Court of Appeals, Place 3 will be former state District Court Judge Leticia Hinojosa. She comfortably defeated Carlos Valdez.
There will be a runoff to decide whether Ric Godinez stays on as Hidalgo County Democratic Party Chair. Godinez of McAllen secured 38.7 percent of the vote, while challenger David Garza won 47.08 percent.
In the Democratic Party primary in Cameron County, state Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., easily won re-election. In the 138th State District Court, Arturo Cisneros Nelson won his primary. District Attorney Luis Saenz was also victorious, as was Sheriff Omar Lucio.
There will be a runoff for Cameron County Commissioner, Precinct 1, between incumbent Sofia Benavidez and challenger Beatrice G. Rosenbaum. In the open race for Cameron County Commissioner, Precinct 4, Gus Ruiz defeated Chino Sanchez.
In the Cameron County Democratic Party Chair race, Amber Medina defeated Erasmo Castro.
In the four-way race for Cameron County Sheriff in the Republican Party primary there was no clear winner. The runoff will be between John Chambers and Victor Cortez.
Editor’s Note: Reporter Luis Montoya contributed to this story from Brownsville.