Voting

Election Day saw short lines at St. Mark United Methodist Church in Cleburne, which was largely the case throughout the county on Tuesday. Early voting, however, saw record-breaking numbers of voters.

Area elections brought change in some instances but few surprises otherwise. 

Arguably the biggest change was the shift of local elections, traditionally held in May, to November’s general election courtesy of COVID-19 precautions. Precautions that further complicated an already busy presidential election season with heavy voter turnout.

Major change befell the Burleson City Council. Longtime Mayor Ken Shetter came up short in his re-election bid falling to challenger Chris Fletcher by a margin of 4,607 votes to 7,677.

The re-election bid of Place 4 Councilman Todd Hulsey also didn’t go as he wished. Hulsey garnered 5,567 votes but his opponent, Tamara Payne racked up 5,947.

Change came to the Cleburne City Council too, but not because of a loss.

Single Member District 1 Councilman Bob Kelly, who has served since 2008, decided not to seek re-election. Derek Weathers, who had challenged Kelly in the 2018 election, instead ran unopposed.

Cleburne council elections were otherwise uneventful.

Mayor Scott Cain secured his fifth term by a wide margin fending off challengers Tommy Molloy and John Paul “JP” Lowery. 

The Johnson County Commissioners Court saw change as well, which, like the Cleburne City Council, came about because of a retirement.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Jerry Stringer decided not to seek re-election clearing the way for two new candidates. Republican Mike White garnered 13,263 votes to secure the Precinct 3 seat while his Democratic opponent, Chris Evans, collected 4,776 votes.

On the state level, state Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, and state Rep. DeWayne Burns, R-Cleburne, both handily won re-election. Voters saw fit to send U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, back to Congress as well.

And, of course, at the national level Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald J. Trump.

— Matt Smith

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