PORT LAVACA — Calhoun County elected a Republican county judge on Tuesday for the first time in 22 years.
Richard Meyer was elected to the county judge seat by a 36 percentage point margin over Democrat Wayne Allen Tippit.
Calhoun County - County Judge
|*Richard Meyer||4,144 (68%)|
|Allen Tippit||1,912 (32%)|
“I'm glad for a big voter turnout this year and really want to thank everybody for showing up,” Meyer said at the county courthouse as he watched the votes roll in.
"Campaigning has been enjoyable, and I want to applaud my opponent for running a clean race," Meyer added.
In complete but unofficial results, Meyer earned 68 percent of the vote to Tippit’s 32 percent.
Of the 12,810 registered voters in Calhoun County, 6,183 or 48.3 percent cast ballots in the November election.
Despite his loss, Tippit said he is grateful to have had the experience of campaigning and getting to know more community members.
“I appreciate all of the support,” Tippit said. “Running was really gratifying and gave me faith in our community.”
The last time the county elected a Republican county judge was in 1996, when Arlene Marshall took office, though she was defeated after one term and replaced by Democrat Michael J. Pfeifer.
Meyer said he was pleased with the results and believes they reflect a growing GOP base in Calhoun County.
“For the last few years, the GOP has been strong in Calhoun County,” Meyer said. "There is a lot that factors into our turnout ... I think the Kavanaugh deal got a lot of people interested to vote, and of course, the senate race."
Meyer and Tippit ran for the office after Pfeifer, the current county judge, announced his retirement.
Meyer is a third-generation Calhoun County resident, who lives in the Six Mile community and has more than 40 years of experience as a self-employed farmer and rancher. He owns his own brush-clearing operation.
The candidates shared similar campaign desires to increase business and affordable housing in Calhoun, though they differed in their business strategies.
Meyer said he wanted to make waterways more accessible for industrial plants, while Tippit said he wanted to hold industrial plants more accountable for contributions to the county and focus on increasing tourism and local business owners that would preserve the region.
Meyer’s campaign also focused on lowering the unemployment rate, updating county emergency plans and improving local medical care.
Meyer said he looks forward to using his budgeting, management and sales experience with large companies and small organizations to grow business in Calhoun County.
“Affordable housing is very important and we're also looking at possibly developing a multipurpose event center, which would bring a lot of outside income into the county," Meyer said. “First and foremost, I just want to do what is best for Calhoun County."