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Northeast Texas Republicans Roll To Victory

New Texas State Rep. Bryan Slaton, left, is headed for Austin, while new U.S. Rep. Pat Fallon is bound for Washington, D.C.
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New Texas State Rep. Bryan Slaton, left, is headed for Austin, while new U.S. Rep. Pat Fallon is bound for Washington, D.C.

In an Election Night that delivered a handful of surprise results across the United States, it was business as usual for Republicans in Northeast Texas.

Pat Fallon is the new Congressman from Northeast Texas. Fallon will replace former U.S. Representative John Ratcliffe, who stepped down to become the director of national intelligence. Fallon earned 73 percent of the vote, while Democrat Russell Foster took 23 percent and Libertarian Lou Antonelli managed about 2 percent. Fallon, a former State Senator, was elected to be the Republican nominee for the vacant seat by Republican Party activists in an internal GOP election on Aug. 8.

The GOP will once again represent all districts in the KETR listening area in the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate. In the rural counties, Republicans romped over their foes by about a 4-to-1 margin. In suburban districts along the perimeter of the Dallas metro area, GOP candidates picked up a little less than two-thirds of the vote.

Every lawmaker from the region who participated in the 2019 session of the Texas Legislature will return, except for House District 2’s Dan Flynn, who was defeated in a Republican Party primary runoff election by challenger Bryan Slaton. In the general election, Slaton defeated Democratic challenger Bill Brannon with 81 percent of the vote. HD 2 includes Hopkins, Hunt and Van Zandt counties.

In House District 62, incumbent Reggie Smith defended his seat against Democrat Gary D. Thomas with 79 percent of the vote. HD 62 is composed of Delta, Fannin and Grayson counties.

House District 5, which includes Rains and Wood counties, once again selected Cole Hefner as its State Representative. Hefner bested Lawyanda Price by an 80-20 margin. HD5 also includes Camp, Morris, Titus and part of Smith counties.

Incumbent Gary VanDeaver, whose House District 1 is composed of Bowie, Lamar, Franklin and Red River counties, ran unopposed. To the south, House District 4 (Henderson, Kaufman counties) re-elected Keith Bell, who outpaced Democrat K. Nicole Sprabary with 79 percent of the vote.

Rockwall County’s House District 33, which also includes part of Collin County, will once send Justin Holland to Austin. Holland defeated Democrat Andy Rose by a 65-35 margin.

In Collin County’s easternmost House Districts, incumbents Scott Sanford and Candy Noble earned victories over their challengers. Sanford (House District 70) defeated Angie Bado by a 62-38 margin, while Noble (House District 89), managed a 59-percent triumph against Democrat Sugar Ray Ash (39 percent) and Libertarian Ed Kless (3 percent).

On the Texas Senate side, incumbent Republican Bryan Hughes of Senate District 1 defeated Democratic challenger Audrey Spanko by a 75 percent to 25 percent margin. Senate District 1 includes Lamar, Franklin, Wood and other East Texas counties. 

Senate District 2's Bob Hall was not up for re-election. Senate District 2 includes Delta, Fannin, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Rains, Rockwall, Van Zandt, and parts of Dallas counties. Senate District 30, Pat Fallon's former district, will send either Shelley Luther or Drew Springer to the Texas Seante. The two Republicans will meet in a runoff election Dec. 19 to fill the vacancy left by Pat Fallon, who used to represent the district. Senate District 2 includes parts of eastern and northern Collin County, as well as other North Texas counties to the west.

Totals are accurate as of 6:45 a.m. on Nov. 4.

Mark Haslett has served at KETR since 2013. Since then, the station's news operation has enjoyed an increase in listener engagement and audience metrics, as well recognition in the Texas AP Broadcasters awards.