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November 7, 2012

Rep. Conaway easily wins congressional re-election bid

By DAVID MAY

Palo Pinto County’s representative in the U.S. House Mike Conaway, a Midland Republican, easily swept to re-election victory Tuesday night.

Palo Pinto County in 2011 was redrawn into the West Texas district that some consider to be one the most conservative districts not only in Texas, but the nation.

Conaway, 64, a certified public accountant by profession, will serve his fifth two-year term in Congress.

He won nearly 80 percent of the county-wide vote.

“I am looking forward to it,” he said. “It’s amazing that each time (re-election) happens I get a renewed sense of what it means to serve the people of this district and I get reinvigorated and excited about that next term and doing what needs to be done.”

Conaway was carrying slightly more than 82 percent of the district-wide vote, compared to 15 percent by Democratic challenger Jim Riley, with Libertarian Scott Ballard pickup just 3 percent of the vote.

Conaway said it would be important to see how the presidential race ends up, since it appeared that Republicans would maintain a strong majority of House and Democrats would keep their majority in the Senate. A victory by President Barack Obama could mean four more years of legislative gridlock.

“If we don’t have a change in the White House we will not have the opportunities to move major pieces of legislation,” he said. “I am just stunned there are people who see things a different way.”

He said should Obama win, “I don’t think he will be any more centrist,” especially since Obama would not be concerned about winning re-election in 2016.

Whatever the outcome in key national races, Conaway said he was appreciative of the strong support from voters within the district.

“I am humbled and gratified by it and I look forward to serving the new District 11,” he said.

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