Sebastian wins Calhoun County runoff

Elena Watts By Elena Watts

May 27, 2014 at 12:27 a.m.

Calhoun County voters elected Shelby Sebastian over Susan Riley, 517 to 455 in the Democratic runoff election for Calhoun County clerk Tuesday.

Neither Sebastian nor Riley could be reached for comment Tuesday night.

The results mark the end of a dramatic race that involved suspected election fraud and a hearing in district court.

Sebastian received 763 votes in the March primary. Riley and Grace Gonzalez tossed a coin to break a 630-vote tie. Riley won and advanced to the runoff.

Gonzalez contested the results after the county's Democratic Party chairwoman, Evelyn Burleson, was suspected of election fraud, a third-degree felony.

During the primary, Burleson voted twice - once during early voting and again on Election Day. The county clerk's race was close enough that one vote might have affected the outcome.

District Judge Pat Kelly, of Victoria, upheld the primary election results. A Calhoun County grand jury decided not to indict Burleson.

Investigations by the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office and the Texas Rangers showed no motive for the illegal vote nor any criminal intent, according to a news release by Criminal District Attorney Dan Heard.

Sebastian will face Republican Anna Goodman in the November general election.



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