Johnson Co. plays Trump card
A record number of electors turned out in Johnson County during early voting and on Election Day, giving Republican Donald Trump a heavy nod for the presidency and returning incumbents to the U.S. House and Texas Senate.
The Johnson County Election Office reported 57,572 cast ballots in the election, but in a turn from tradition 43,206 ballots were cast before Election Day.
Typically, about half of ballots in Johnson County are cast on Election Day. As polls neared closing Tuesday, there were no long lines, supposedly because a heavy share of votes were cast early. Johnson County reported 62.9 percent of 91,531 electors voted.
"It appears there are a lot of first-time voters," said Patty Bourgeois, Johnson County's elections administrator. "This is the largest turnout we have ever seen during an election."
Electors in Johnson County gave Republican Donald Trump and running mate Mike Pence 77.1 percent of the vote, and for the first time since 2004 Johnson County was on the winning side of a presidential race in the state and nation. Democrat Hillary Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine gathered 19.1 percent of the presidential vote.
Electors also gave their support to U.S. Rep. Roger Williams. He gathered 78.5 percent of the Johnson County vote and handily won the election district-wide. The race had been called for williams by 9:30 p.m. on Election Night, well before many other races.
"My bedtime is normally 9 p.m., so I'm up a little past that," Williams said in a phone interview. "I think voters realie I'm trying to work really hard for the district."
He predicted Republicans would hold the U.S. House, U.S. Senate and regain the White House, which Trump did after midnight.
Williams is ready to return to a Republican-controlled Congress.
"I think the voters want big boy decisions in Congress," he said. "I think if you look at my record, I am one of the most conservative members of the House. We are trying to deliver tax reform and fix the debt. That means you can't go to Congress and vet to raise the debt ceiling."
He also plans to continue to be a voice for businesses in Congress.
"I still own a business and see things in business terms," Williams said. "I literally feel the pain of these decisions."
State Sen. Brian Birdwell won another term as he collected 80.2 percent of the vote in Johnson County and won favor district-wide.
State Rep. DeWayne Burns was unopposed and will return to serve Bosque and Johnson County in District 58.
All county level positions on the ballot were unopposed, placing many Republican incumbents back in office. A new addition is the election of Adam King as sheriff. He was unopposed in the general election.
A republican sweep of the federal legislative and executive branches sends a resounding message, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn wrote in an email.
"The American people have delivered a resounding message that they’re ready for change, and eager for Republicans to tackle the big challenges facing our nation," he wrote. "I look forward to working with President-elect Trump to address the critical issues Texans and the American people have entrusted us to solve.”
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick chaired Trump's campaign efforts in Texas.
"Texans will now have a good friend in the White House who will be our partner in securing the border. We’ll have a good friend in the White House who won't fight our energy industry and will put us on the road to energy independence," Patrick wrote in an email. "We have a good friend in the White House who will support school choice for every child, who will stand up for life, for liberty and the Second Amendment. And for the first time since 2008, we won't have a White House that we have to constantly sue to protect the rights of Texans."