Election: Keyes Retains Gaines County Judge’s Seat

March 6, 2018

Gaines County Judge Tom Keyes described his race with challenger Troy Ratliff as being similar to a tale famed comedian Jerry Clower told of himself and a friend raccoon hunting.

Clower’s friend thought the pair had treed a raccoon and shimmied up a tree to retrieve it, only to find a bobcat was there in waiting. A bobcat that put up a fight and left Clower’s friend asking for him to “shoot up” and end the fighting pair’s battle once and for all.

Keyes defeated Ratliff in Tuesday’s Gaines County Republican Party Primary election process, as he received 56.4-percent (1,167) of 2,069 votes cast. Ratliff received 902 (43.6-percent) votes cast in the election.

“This was a difficult race for me to campaign, but I feel like this will be my last race,” said Keyes in a Tuesday evening telephone interview with the Seminole Sentinel.

“It seemed like we had a good turnout for an off-cycle election and I am thankful for the opportunity for another term in office.”

Tuesday’s election saw all local Republican Party contested races with a clear winner, including the three-woman race for the 106th District Clerk’s position.

In that race, current 106th District deputy clerk Susan Murphree defeated incumbent 106th District Clerk Sharon Taylor and fellow challenger Cheryl Gandy-Penner by receiving 56.21-percent (1,163) of the 2,069 votes cast in the election.

Taylor, according to Tuesday’s unofficial voting tally obtained by the Gaines County Elections Administration Office, received 27.98-percent (579 votes) while Gandy-Penner received 15.80-percent (327 votes).

“I’m still trying to come down a little bit,” said Murphree in a Tuesday evening telephone interview with the Seminole Sentinel.  ‘I’m still wound up.”

Murphree added: “I am so grateful, thankful and overwhelmed by the support I had received. I would like to thank everybody that came out to vote and I appreciate them for taking the time out of their busy schedules to do so.”

Keyes and Murphree, like the other GOP primary winners within Gaines County on Tuesday evening, will be unopposed in the November general election process.

Belt Wins Pct. 2 Commissioners Race; James Secures Pct. 1 JP Post
Veteran Gaines County Pct. 2 Commissioner Craig Belt defeated challenger Brice Duncan by over a 2-to-1 margin Tuesday evening to secure a fifth term of office.

Belt, according to Tuesday’s election totals, received 378 of 534 votes cast, amounting to a 70.79-percent margin. Duncan, according to voting totals, received 156 votes (29.21-percent).

In another race of interest, current Seminole Police Dept. Lt. Jeff James was selected as the new Gaines County Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1 in Tuesday’s election, as he received 822 of 1,584 votes (51.89-percent) cast, defeating challenger Kyle Abbott.

Abbott, in Tuesday’s election, received 762 votes — or 48.11-percent — of votes cast in the race.

In the Gaines County Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2 race, incumbent seat holder Calvin Sellers defeated challenger Ricky Taylor by a 2-to-1 margin, as he received 336 (67.74-percent) of 496 votes cast in the election. Taylor, on Tuesday, received 160 (32.26-percent) votes.

Filley, Seliger Earn Gaines County Wins
In the 106th District Judge’s race, Tahoka attorney Reed Filley defeated challenger W. Calloway Huffaker to secure Gaines County’s portion of the four-county judicial district’s territory.

Filley, on Tuesday, received 1,149 (58.89-percent) of 1,951 votes cast in the election while Huffaker — also of Tahoka — received 802 (41.11-percent) votes.

Election results in Lynn and Garza counties were unknown as of presstime Tuesday, however, the Lamesa Press-Reporter confirmed with the Seminole Sentinel on Tuesday that Filley had defeated Huffaker in Dawson County.

According to the Press-Reporter, Filley had received 887 votes compared to Huffaker’s 610 votes received.

Updated results from Tuesday’s 106th District Judge’s race can be found online at www.seminolesentinel.com

In the hotly contested State Senate District 31 race, incumbent Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) defeated former Midland mayor Mike Canon and Amarillo challenger Victor Leal by receiving 50.08-percent (962 votes) of 1,921 votes cast in Tuesday’s election.

Canon finished second in Gaines County with 846 votes (44.04-percent) while Leal received just 113 (5.88-percent) of votes cast.

Full results of the State Dist. 31 race were unavailable as of presstime Tuesday evening.

With 164 of 300 precincts reporting from within District 31, Seliger had 30,884 of 58,450 — or 52.8-percent of votes received in the race.  Canon followed with 16,649 votes (28.4-percent), while Leal received just 10,917 votes.

Updates on the District 31 State Senate seat can be found online at www.seminolesentinel.com

By Dustin Wright
Sentinel Managing Editor

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Category: Updates