By Joe Southern & Elsa Maxey
Fort Bend County and the rest of Texas went to the polls March 1 for the Democratic and Republican primaries, setting up some battles for the fall election and sending several others into runoff elections on May 24.
Most noteworthy is the runoff between District 27 State Rep. Ron Reynolds (D) and challenger Angelique Bartholomew. Reynolds had 7,746 votes (48.46 percent) to Bartholomew’s 3,855 (24.12 percent).
“This campaign is not over,” Bartholomew said in a statement. “While tonight’s election returns did not put us directly into the next round, I remain committed to championing our shared values throughout Fort Bend, Stafford, Missouri City and all of our fast-growing communities across House District 27.”
Reynolds praised his supporters and encouraged them to keep working.
“I am so very appreciative and humbled by your support, prayers, words of encouragement, volunteerism, and for turning out to vote,” he said in a press release. “Despite having three strong challengers and being last on the ballot, we ran a clean, positive campaign and led the race with 7,746 votes. I also want to commend Angelique Bartholomew for finishing second with 24.12 percent of the vote, and Steve Brown and Chris Henderson for running hard-fought campaigns.”
The total number of registered voters in Fort Bend County is 380,771. Of that, 108,465, or 28.9 percent, cast ballots in the primaries. The election results at press time were unofficial and will be canvassed later this week by both political party chairs, according to Fort Bend County Elections Administrator John Oldham.
“I know that 5,000 more people voted on Tuesday than have voted on any single day, and that includes general presidential elections,” he said. “It was a big turnout.”
He said there is usually 45,000 – 48,000 voters on Election Day.
“We had well over 60,000. It was a big day,” he said.
Oldham said there were some issues at some of the polling facilities. He said there was no shortage of equipment, but some sites closed and reopened, but with the countywide polling environment authorized by the county last year, voters could vote at any site.
For early voting in person there were 12,520 Democrats to 26,092 Republicans. Of the early votes, 68 percent were cast by Republicans in Fort Bend County.