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Pozzi re-elected Victoria County judge

By Gabe Semenza , DAVID TEWES
Nov. 2, 2010 at 6:02 a.m.
Updated Nov. 3, 2010 at 6:03 a.m.

"It's going to be a long night," Don Pozzi said while taking a call with friend John Hammack outside Democratic Party headquarters held at the Junior League of Victoria on the corner of Main and Forrest streets in downtown Victoria. The incumbent Victoria County judge  received election updates throughout the evening during Tuesday's tight race against Republican candidate Matt Ocker.

Voters on Tuesday re-elected Don Pozzi to a third four-year term as Victoria County judge.

Pozzi, a Democrat, received 9,940 votes, compared to Republican challenger Matt Ocker's 9,306 votes, with all polling places reporting.

"You know, I feel great," Pozzi said. "I never relaxed until it was over. It was a very close race, but I was very pleased the voters had enough faith in me to return me to office. I left it in God's hands, and my prayers were answered."

After early voting results were announced just after 7 p.m. Tuesday, Pozzi held a 500-vote lead. That lead grew and shrank as precinct tallies were reported, turning the night into a bit of a roller-coaster ride for both candidates.

"I've not been through an election quite like this," Pozzi, 67, said.

Pozzi, who has been in office eight years, campaigned on his experience, wisdom and knowledge of county government. He is a Galveston native who practiced civil and criminal law for 33 years before first being elected.

Ocker, the challenger, campaigned on being an outsider who would bring a fresh insight to county government. Ocker, a 33-year-old Virginia native, is a production tester. He has worked in the oil industry, electrical distribution and farming.

"First of all, I want to congratulate Judge Pozzi on the win," Ocker said. "In many respects, he has served our county admirably. While it's tough to lose, elections are not always about who wins in the end. Elections are a lot about changing the narrative, about bringing up issues ... about making impacts. I think I've been able to do that."

Knowing that voters cast ballots for him, Ocker said, was as humbling as when his children were born.

"What's next for me is I'm going to drop out of politics for awhile," Ocker said. "I have a business to get back on track. It's time to put my life back together. One thing I will say is Pozzi campaigned on Day 1 on not raising taxes. I want everyone in the county to know the tax hike is coming, and I just want to say I told you so."

Pozzi, meanwhile, said he looks forward to another four years in office.

"My top goal is going to certainly be to move Victoria County forward with economic development, with continuing growth - to increase the tax base," Pozzi said. "I want to return to the county employees what we've had to take from them the past couple of years, to restore pay and benefits to where they need to be."



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