Former Constable Robby Cox wrested the judge’s bench away from Democratic incumbent Justice of the Peace James Mathis in Gregg County’s Pct. 4 on Tuesday.
Unofficial results showed Cox defeating incumbent Mathis 697 to 510.
Cox now will face Republican Darrin “Rudy” Rudolph in the November general election, in a precinct that historically has favored Democrats. Pct. 4 stretches from Easton into central Longview.
Neither Cox nor Mathis was available on their cellphones to provide comments after results were in Tuesday night.
The Democratic runoff came on the heels of a contentious race for the precinct’s county commissioner job. Former Easton mayor Shannon Brown took that race by five votes and will see GOP hopeful G. Floyd in November.
“Both of those people who won the (Democratic) primary have opponents in November,” Gregg County Democratic Chairman James Cogar noted.
The chairman also criticized the low participation in Pct. 4.
“The turnout was extremely depressing,” Cogar said.
A breakdown of votes in the race, distinguishing mailed ballots from those cast in person, was not available Tuesday night.
Almost 500 mail-in ballots had arrived at Elections Administrator Kathryn Nealy’s office by Monday, compared with 800-plus in the commissioner’s primary contest.
Cox signed three of those mail-in ballots in his race as an assistant to the voter, but no other mailed ballots bore a helper’s signature, Nealy reported.
Cox and four others signed more than 230 mail-in ballots as having assisted voters in the commissioner’s race.
During early voting last week, Nealy said she had reports that one of the five people named as a “vote harvester” in a court filing from the Pct. 4 commissioners races appeared to be assisting voters. She declined to identify that man beyond being one of those five, but not Cox.
“I’ve had a report that a certain person has been seen depositing ballots into the mailbox,” she said, placing the site as the Mobberly Avenue post office. “And that person did not sign that he assisted anybody. I do not have those same people signing that they assisted, but I have reports that they did assist.”
She bemoaned the absence of witnesses willing to step forward.
“But, like I said, I have two reports that someone was mailing these ballots for folks, a bundle of ballots at the post office,” she said. “But that person did not sign as assisting.”
Cogar, who was in the elections office as returns were announced, said he saw nothing to question about the race.
“I didn’t see anything untoward,” Cogar said. “I haven’t heard any complaints from anybody.”