About three weeks removed from election day, one thing is for sure: while Democrats made gains in vote totals in Potter and Randall Counties, most of the two counties’ local offices will remain in Republican hands.
In Potter County, the only contested county race on the ballot was for Potter County’s Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 spot, which pitted Republican Robert Taylor against Democrat Claudia Griego. Taylor beat out Griego to win the seat, keeping the seat in Republican hands. Incumbent Republican Rich Herman was defeated in his primary by Taylor, but won the seat from a Democratic incumbent in 2014.
In Randall County, Democrats fielded no local candidates, as in the only contested race, Republican Constable Richard Beals cruised to victory against write-in contender Patrick Tinsley.
No Libertarian candidates contested local offices in either county.
While Republicans held on to local seats in both contests, Democrats have not been completely shut out of the courthouses. In Potter County, Commissioner Mercy Murguia, perhaps one of the highest profile commissioners for the county, is a Democrat, as are Commissioner Alphonso Vaughn, Judge Thomas Jones, and Constables Idella Jackson and Georgia Estrada. In Randall County, Democrats hold no positions.
It does not concern Democrats locally though, as many have taken solace in the gains made by Beto O’Rourke and other Democrats on the statewide ballot in both Potter and Randall Counties. However, in presidential years, both counties have trended Republican, as both Potter County has not voted for a Democratic candidate since 1964, and Randall has not supported a Democrat since 1948.
So, when 2019 rolls around, both counties remain mostly Republican-dominated, but there are a few signs of hope for interested Democrats.