By CLINT FOSTER
PALO PINTO – Candidates and their friends and families crowded into the Palo Pinto County Courthouse Tuesday night to watch as results from the primary elections came in. Ultimately, it was the Republican incumbents in contested county races that ruled the day, as County Judge David Nicklas, District Clerk Janie Glover and County Clerk Janette Green all maintained their titles for another four years.
Glover won by the largest margin, beating out her competitor, Stacie Frye, with 80.2 percent of the vote, 2,337-577. Glover said she was thrilled by the victory.
"I would just like to thank everyone who supported me and everyone who turned out to vote," she said. "I appreciate your support."
Nicklas also won by a comfortable margin. Surrounded by family members of all ages, he watched as his vote totals grew to 2,155 compared to Earnest Pechacek's 763, giving Nicklas 73.85 percent.
"I really appreciate the support the voters of the county have given me," he said. "I think they rewarded me for the commissioners court and all of our group here doing a good job. I'm really looking forward to another four years of prosperity with all the exciting things going on in Palo Pinto County right now. Again, thanks to everyone that supported me, and to Mr. Pechacek for running such a good race. He was gentleman-like, and I gained a new friend in the process."
Green had the most nerve-wracking night. With her opponents, Debbie Murray and Jessica Wright, splitting the vote, Green came away with a narrow victory by 50.83 percent, earning 1,446 votes.
After the final precinct came in, Green hugged her supporters and exchanged glances with Nicklas. The two brushed their arms across their brows, as if to wipe sweat from their foreheads.
"I'm thrilled, I'm honored, I'm humbled," she said. "The voters spoke and made their decision, and I'm thrilled.
"We started off with 52 percent and ended up with 50.8 percent. When your numbers start going down, you get a little worried. But we had to have 50.1 percent to avoid a runoff and now we can just get back to work and move on."
Among Palo Pinto County voters, State Representative Jim Keffer came away with the majority of votes in his race against Cullen Crisp, garnering 63.33 percent, 1,872-1,084.
On the other side of the aisle, Theresa Crosier unseated incumbent and write-in Ida Nickerson for Democratic County Chair.
Tuesday night signaled the end of the campaign trail for all of Palo Pinto County's local candidates, save two. Republican Jeff Fryer will now face off against Democrat Raymond Procter for the seat of Precinct 4 Commissioner in the upcoming general election. All other races were uncontested.