With the Texas Secretary of State’s website showing 99.88 percent of the votes counted, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Presiding Judge Sharon Keller, a Republican and three-term veteran of that bench, held onto her seat in Tuesday's election. Keller received 55 percent of the vote, compared with 41.23 percent of the vote for Austin solo Keith Hampton, a Democrat, and 3.26 percent of the vote for Austin solo Lance Stott, a Libertarian.
In an email, Keller writes: “My personal challenge was not just to win, but to win decisively. Thanks to the voters, I succeeded in doing that. Over a million more people voted for me than for my Democratic opponent. More important, I beat him by a higher percentage than I won by in my last race. Now that the voters have given me a fourth term, I look forward to working with the other judges and with all of the wonderful people I have met through my work at the Court to improve the criminal justice system of Texas. Opportunities abound, and I am thankful that the voters have given me the opportunity to continue my work.”
Hampton says, "I had no idea what the outcome was going to be."
But now that the results are in, he says, “The large margin indicates it must have been straight-ticket voting.”
While he campaigned, Hampton recounts, he traveled to politically conservative parts of the state and got a sense of how deep the state's Republican roots run. “ ‘Keith, how did you become a Democrat? Was it a head injury? Was it genetic?’ ” he says people would ask him.
As a result of those factors, Hampton says, “I don't feel bad [about the loss] because I did everything I could.”
Stott didnot return a call and email seeking comment.
-- Miriam Rozen