Wilbarger County voters were in a mood for change as one of four local incumbents went down to defeat on Tuesday night in the Republican Primary. Another one of the races was deemed to close to call while the other two incumbents will face runoffs after both finished second out of three candidates.
There may be a new sheriff come January 1, 2021. But Wilbarger County Clerk Jana Kennon said the final winner has not been officially declared. Challenger Brian Fritz had a small lead over incumbent sheriff Bill Price 1,185 to 1,179.
Kennon said that there are four provisional ballots that will need to be looked at by the voter registrar. They may be accepted or rejected by the early ballot board at a later date.
Because ballots from those serving in the military, and overseas ballots had to be postmarked by today — the result also could actually change when those mail-in ballots are counted on March 9.
Also some local mail-in ballots postmarked Tuesday, will still be counted if they arrive Wednesday by 5 p.m.
Kennon said she will have a better idea on Wednesday regarding the number of outstanding ballots when she examines the mail ballot list.
Fritze was cautiously optimistic: “Of course we are excited but we have to wait for the final numbers to be official. I owe every bit of this to God, he’s the one who put us here,” Fritze said.
Price said he was also optimistic: “I will be content whichever way it plays out, of course I hope it goes the other way. It’s in God’s hands.”
Fritze had the advantage in early voting 735 to 692, while Price had the advantage from those that waited for election day to vote, 406-370. Price also had a 81-80 lead on mail-in ballots that have already been received.
Two of the races produced no winner — meaning a runoff will be held on May 26 for County Commissioner Precinct 1 and Tax Assessor/Collector.
The Tax Assessor/Collector race yielded two finalists. Angie Boyd (854 votes) and incumbent Sherrie Campsey (824 votes) will battle in the May runoff. Tissha Taylor (645) finished third. Boyd had the advantage in early voters 584 to 552 while Campsey led on election day voters 272-270.
There will also be a run-off for County Commissioner Pct. 1 between Billy Taylor (343) and incumbent John Wright (252). Guy Spears (157) finished third.
County Commissioner Kelly Joe Neel also lost, falling to Scott Inglish by a 265 to 171 count in Pct. 3.