Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Lewis, West head into runoff

The heated four-way race for the District 81 seat in the State House of Representatives is headed for a runoff — incumbent Buddy West and challenger Tryon Lewis will face off April 8.

In a higher-than-normal voter turnout districtwide — Ector, Andrews and Winkler counties — West, the incumbent, took 4,601 votes, or 38.37 percent. Challenger Tryon Lewis 5,273 votes, or 43.98 percent, while Randy Rives took 1,188 votes, or 9.91 percent, and Jesse Gore 928 votes, or 7.74 percent.

“It’s a huge undertaking to run against an incumbent, especially in a four-candidate race,” Lewis said late Tuesday night. “We’re delighted to be in a runoff.”

West, likewise, said he’s pleased to be in a runoff.

“It’s really what I expected,” West said. “You hope for one thing and expect another. I expected there to be a runoff, and I’m just glad I’m one of the ones in the run-off.”

In order to have won the primary outright, a candidate must get 50 percent plus one vote. Otherwise, the top two vote-getters move into a runoff — in this case Lewis and West.

The runoff, which will be April 8, will effectively decide the race because there is no Democrat on the ballot in November. The winner will face Elmo Hockman, a Libertarian candidate, in November.

West said he plans to take a more forceful approach to campaigning for the runoff.

“We’ll have to be a little bit more aggressive on our issues,” he said. “We’ll have to show my voting record and the things I’ve accomplished.”

Lewis said he plans to keep hitting the pavement in his campaigning.

“Pretty much what we’ve been doing and more of it,” Lewis said. “We’ve got a chance to visit with more peo-ple and listen to more people.”

West’s public announcement of health issues on the House floor and his own questioning if he’d return to office opened the window for other candidates to enter the District 81 race. With the opportunity there, Lewis, an attorney and former district judge, entered the representa-tive race first last summer.

West announced his improved health and his candidacy for state representative in August.

Then, Rives, an Ector County Independent School District trustee, entered, shortly followed by fellow First Baptist Church member Gore.

Rives, who finished third in the race, said that while he was disappointed with the vote, it’s “not the end of the world.”

“I’m still president of Republican men, and I’m still on the (ECISD) board till May. We’ll keep doing what we’re doing there,” he said, adding that he does not plan to run again for school board.

“We had a lot of support from a lot of good people,” he said. “I don’t look back with any regrets. I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve had fun doing it.”

Gore, who finished fourth in the race, was also audibly disappointed in the results; however, he said there were good points.

“I feel like I was successful in getting out my message to a limited extent,” he said. “I had emphasis on what I felt needed emphasis — on our families. That’s where I still feel the need is.”

Meanwhile, Lewis said he would “be delighted” to gain an endorsement from Rives or Gore.

“It needs to be said that Randy Rives, Jesse Gore and certainly Buddy West all ran a very energetic, very strong campaign,” Lewis said.

In the meantime, Rives said he’s not certain whether or not he’ll endorse a candidate in the runoff.

“I don’t think in my position (I should),” he said. “I’ll vote, but I don’t think it’s right (to endorse). We haven’t decided on an endorsement — we’ve been so busy with what we’ve been doing.”

Gore said he would throw his endorsement behind West in the April 8 runoff.

“I will endorse Buddy,” he said. “I certainly will.”

>> Seat: District 81 state representative.
>> Term: Two years.
>> Annual salary: $7,200.
>> Per diem allowance: $17,920.
>> Candidates: Incumbent George E. “Buddy” West, and challengers Tryon Lewis, Randy Rives and Jesse Gore.
>> Runoff: A runoff April 8 will take place between Buddy West and Tryon Lewis.

>> Age: 60.
>> Occupation: Attorney since 1973. Served as 161st District Court Judge from 1985-2006. Presently a partner with Atkins, Peacock & Lewis.
>> Votes districtwide: 5,273 votes, or 43.98 percent.

>> Age: 71.
>> Occupation: Worked for Amoco Production for 30 years as a corporate safety engineer.
>> Votes districtwide: 4,601 votes, or 38.37 percent.

>> Age: 57.
>> Occupation: Operations Team Leader for OXY Permian Oil Co.
>> Votes districtwide: 1,188 votes, or 9.91 percent.

>> Age: 46.
>> Occupation: Field Service Representative for Oncor Electric Delivery for 24 years. Also owns Jesse W. Gore Insurance & Investments.
>> Votes districtwide: 928 votes, or 7.74 percent.

Be sure and read the comments at the bottom of the article, post some if you'd like. Here's you a link -- Faye

Odessa American


Anna said...

I went to the Odessa American articles. They've got a lot of bad comments on there about Tryon Lewis. What do you think?

Faye said...

Well, it looks like somebody's really out there to smear him, doesn't it? I can't figure out what they're saying. They've been too oblique. I haven't gone to the Myspace spot. Looks like they're inferring some sort of problem with his resigning as judge.... and maybe that his daughter is a lesbian. I would like to know about the resignation. If his kids are anything like mine, they don't indicate what his views are. We need a very strong man in Austin. I love Buddy West to death, but even at his best, he created no flack in Austin until Craddick became so overpowering that he created a revolt among our state legislators. And then, even Craddick has done good things for this area. But he is allowing our governor to become an absolute dictator. For example, the mandatory vaccine, the veto of the TTC bills. When you back off and look at what's happening, it's depressing to see our high officials disregarding our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, and the will of the American people. All the way from Bush with his, what over 1700 signing statements now, to Spitzer with his mandating driver's licenses for illegals, to Perry with the TTC and the vaccine. I'm not a Ron Paul fan, but it's rather hard to not notice the trend here. I don't like the fact that Perry got up there and lied about property taxes either. I don't like the fact that our state budget is askew, nor that the federal government keeps two books and only tells us about the one because we'll be upset about the other. Tryon and Buddy both strike me as principled men from the talks I've had with them. Probably both of them have been part of the good ole boy system for a long time. But that's always been Texas. And I don't think the oil companies are all bad. W.D. Noel was so concerned about his employees that he came to me when I worked for El Paso Products and told me to never short the employee when I was figuring the new pay rates, that if it came down to a penny, to give the penny to the employee. He established scholarships at OC and UTPB so that not only I could go to school to further my education, but he did it for our families, too. I think the bad image they've gotten is a result of companies being taxed and regulated to death. What it comes down to, for me, is that Buddy West has had his chance to prevent all this from occurring and basically he did not until it has reached such a crisis stage that our state legislature has tried to unseat Craddick twice in the previous session. And rightfully so. Craddick may have done a lot of things for this area, but do we have to trade in our sovereignty and our method of government for it? And Craddick is the one promoting the TTC and blocking the illegal immigration bills. Right now, he's been pushed to conduct hearings on illegal immigration. Are those hearings to placate us during the elections? And what about the land he owns that will be affected by the La Entrada or has he already sold the land at a good price? And what about his wife's involvement with MOTRAN? I think Tryon is strong enough to immediately recognize all these ties and manuverings when he goes down to Austin. I think I heard he founded the Republican party here. He's 60 years old. Old enough to recognize all the tricks that are being pulled in Austin and DC. And, I don't know, I could be wrong, but I think his basic principles are those of the old Republican party, not those of the neo-cons or RINOs. We need to put harder questions to the both of them before April. I encourage you all to become familiar with The Muckraker and start asking those questions. The link is over to the left.