Local Republicans yank seats from Democrats

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – A new face on the campaign trail unseats Democratic incumbent Jim McReynolds for the District 12 Texas House seat.

"The people of East Texas know best and I applaud them for their decision and I'll stand by them forever," McReynolds said.

Democrats across Texas lost to those running on the Republican ticket.

It was a trend consistent even in local county commissioner and justice of the peace elections.

As ballot boxes poured into election headquarters, the reality of what was inside surprised many.

"I think all of the pollsters, I think all of the people who really track this, did not expect last night," said McReynolds. "I did not expect last night."

More than 20 Democrats lost their seat in the Texas House on election night, including 14-year veteran McReynolds.

"I think that if you had a 'D' behind your name, your time was up and maybe rightfully so,until folks with a 'D' behind their name start listening really carefully to everybody and there's a lot of anger out there," said McReynolds. "Again, however, unfortunately, a lot of that is focused not on Texas 'Ds,' it's focused on Washington 'Ds.'"

"Republicans and Democrats won last night throughout the country, of course, Republicans won more, but Democrats and Republicans that want to look the American people and East Texans in the eye and tell them what they need to know, not what they want to hear...won last night," said Texas District 12 Republican Representative-Elect James White.

For the county commissioner and justice of the peace candidates in Angelina County, they can't help but think that despite the distance, Washington politics also played a role in their election outcomes.

"The Republican with the 'R' by my name was probably the biggest thing," said Republican Justice of the Peace-Elect Precinct 3 Bradley Stringer.

"When I started, 22 years ago in Angelina County, the only way you could run and be elected was being a Democrat, but things have changed," said Democratic Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 R.G. Bowers.

"With this election cycle, and the national trend away from the Democratic party towards conservative, Republican values...it very much had an impact on all the races," explained Republican Angelina County Commissioner-Elect Precinct 4 Scott Cooper.

"I'm here to be a state representative, not the Democratic state representative, the Republican state representative, or representative of this group of people, or that group of people," White said. "It's not about putting on a uniform right now, I'm just asking for everyone, for their help, their advice, their council.  I'm asking everyone for their prayers."

For many hopefuls, the letter after their name made a difference.

"There will be disappointments and we might as well know it, that having been said, when we elect somebody, let's all get behind them and give them our very best, wish them only good things," said McReynolds.

McReynolds said it's too soon to say if he'll run again, but he said he plans to serve on some local boards.

©2010 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.