Texas County voters in a moderate turnout overwhelmingly supported Republican Mike Huckabee and Democrat Hillary Clinton in a presidential primary that saw Missouri’s bellwether status give the nod to their opponents, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.
The Texas County showdown occurred as part of the 22-state Super Tuesday that saw McCain win many of the states and impressive victories in several delegate-rich states. Clinton and Obama carved up the nation in the contest, leaving the Democratic presidential nomination more elusive than ever.
It was a night of drama as millions of Democrats cleaved sharply between two candidates offering them a historic first: The opportunity to nominate a woman or an African-American to lead their party’s effort to reclaim the White House. Yet it was also a night when neither Obama nor Clinton could decisively lay claim – or even secure an edge – to the nomination, assuring an electoral fight that will unfold for weeks to come.
Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, easily won in Texas County, racking up 1,727 votes. His nearest rival, John McCain, received 954 votes. Placing third was Mitt Romney with 480. Ron Paul, the Texas congressman, picked up 234.
Voters gave the nod to Clinton over Obama, 1,858-743.
It was the Republican ballot that received the most attention in the county. A tally shows 3,445 participated in that party’s primary, splitting most of the votes between the three frontrunners. Another 2,731 took a Democratic ballot at the county’s 10 voting districts. In all, 6,190 participated. Four years ago, 2,751 traveled to polls.
Texas County Clerk Don Troutman said that represents 42 percent of the county’s registered voters.
In Piney Township, which includes Houston, 1,477 ballots were cast. It marked the first time for a new polling location – the Houston Storm Shelter. Threatening weather, which resulted in a severe thunderstorm warning, also opened the doors to those seeking shelter. Parts of Houston were without power for more than three hours. The shelter operated on emergency power, as did the Texas County Courthouse.
Licking and Cabool were evenly split with about 1,000 votes cast.