Stephenville attorney and businesswoman Shelby Slawson easily ousted incumbent J.D. Sheffield by a margin on 62 percent of the votes to 38 percent Tuesday in the Republican Runoff Election for Texas House of Representatives District 59.
Because no Democrats or Independent candidates will be competing for the office in November’s General Election, Slawson’s huge victory effectively secured a position for her first two-year term in Austin.
Among Erath County voters, Slawson had 3,246 votes compared to only 957 for Sheffield. In early voting, Slawson built a 1,810 to 465 lead. She had a 318-151 edge in absentee voting.
In Erath County, which has 23,100 registered voters, the turnout of 4,560 total votes represented 19.74 percent.
Sheffield, a Gatesville resident, has been in office since 2012. Gov. Greg Abbott endorsed Sheffield in the race prior to the March 3 Republican Primary. In that Primary, Slawson picked up 46 percent of the votes compared to 30 percent for Sheffield. Another Republican candidate at that time, Twisted J owner Cody Johnson of Stephenville, received 24 percent.
"What an incredible journey," Slawson said. "For the last year the people in HD59 have been uniting around our shared values and building out a broad coalition of Central Texas conservatives ready to fight for our Texas.
"The election results bear witness to the power of us everyday citizens when we work together. I am honored, and deeply humbled, by the confidence our folks have placed in our campaign and look forward to serving you and fighting for you as we Keep Texas Red."
A message Sheffield posted on his website following the election loss states, "I called Mrs. Slawson to congratulate her on her victory last night. I want to thank everyone, especially my wife Janice, for their hard work and support.
"Serving my neighbors in the Texas House has been one of the highest honors of my life. Thank you for the privilege. God Bless you all and God Bless Texas."
Texas House District 59 includes Comanche, Somervell, Coryell, Hamilton, McCulloch, Mills and San Saba counties as well as Erath.