Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct information about Watson's prior experience as a prosecutor.
Gregg County will have a new top prosecutor next year for the first time in a decade.
Attorney and former police officer Tom Watson unseated 10-year incumbent Gregg County District Attorney Carl Dorrough in the Republican primary by a 5,203 vote-to-4,303 vote count.
With no Democratic challenger in the field, Watson will be sworn in Jan. 1.
“I’m excited. It was a hard-fought race, and obviously I’m excited about it,” Watson said after results were announced Tuesday night. “We’re tired, too. It was a long day, but we’re ready to go.”
Watson drew endorsements from Sheriff Maxey Cerliano and law enforcement officers and police chiefs across the county.
Dorrough countered that rank-and-file officers and many of their superiors sided with him.
Watson won in all three phases of voting. He held a 466-to-244 edge in mail-in votes and a 2,360-to-2,177 edge in early voting.
On Election Day, the challenger claimed a 2,377-to-1,882 advantage, giving him 54.7 percent of the totals.
“It was really a team approach,” Watson said. “Obviously, to run a campaign, you have to have a good team around you. I had volunteers around me doing as much as they could do. It was a matter of everybody staying positive at all times.”
Former Gov. Rick Perry appointed Dorrough as Gregg County district attorney in November 2007 after the resignation of the late former DA Bill Jennings, for whom Dorrough worked as part of his 15 years as an assistant district attorney.
Watson also formerly worked as a prosecutor and was hired by Dorrough.
To his opponent, Watson said, “Mr. Dorrough is a fine man. I respect him greatly. This race was never about him as a person. It was never about his character or his integrity. I ran the race based on the issues that I saw and the issues that I felt I needed to address.”