Republicans Make County Races Closer

By Wade Cameron

"We were on pins and needles all night long. It was just a very exciting night," said Ryan Deaton.

For many candidates and party members in Angelina County, election night was stressful.

"We were up after the early ballots were counted and then she just started chipping away and we really thought we had it until the boxes from north Lufkin came in," said Deaton, a law partner with Republican Candidate Derek Flournoy.

And part of the reason was what seems to be a shift in Angelina County voting.

"The republicans received 3005 straight tickets and the democrats had 4313 straight ballot votes," said County Election Administrator Bill Shanklin. "It's about a 60-40 split and that's a big shift for the Republicans over the past few years."

Shanklin says he's not sure what caused the change, but he feels in some of the closer races it was just solid campaigning. The race for judge of county court-at-law number one was one of the closest in East Texas... With just 146 votes separating Republican Derek Flournoy and Incumbent Lisa Burkhaulter.

"Well, I can't say we weren't disappointed but we were excited that derek ran such a great campaign and we were excited that we were able to pull so many votes," said Deaton.

And while some candidates fell short of their goal, they did make it interesting. And it's that interest that some feel will get people out to the polls the next time around. "I think it's a healthy situation," said Shanklin. "It causes a lot of excitement in the voting community."