It seems likely — but not assured — that Dr. Bob Deuell, of Greenville, likely will keep his seat in the Texas Senate. Deuell worked hard to fend off challenger Bob Hall, of Edgewood, who billed himself as the more conservative choice.
But the race proved to be a real nail-biter as results trickled in on election night. The lead flipped between Deuell and Hall repeatedly, and at times the difference was as little as one vote.
At press time, Deuell held the lead with 16,554 votes, to Hall’s 16,452 votes. That’s with 156 of the district’s 234 precincts reporting.
Deuell had the edge in the early votes, with 9,054 to Hall’s 9,442.
Historically, early voting has been a pretty accurate indicator of final results.
Deuell said he’s glad the campaign is over.
“It’s been tough, seeing 12 years of your work trashed and misrepresented,” he said. “Especially, as I think Texas has done pretty well in the years I’ve been in office.”
Hall was unavailable for comment on Tuesday night.
Deuell has been in the Texas Senate since 2003, when he unseated a Democrat to represent the district which covers much of East Texas (including part of Smith County until redistricting moved District 2 westward). He still represents rural counties, including Kaufman, and knows that water will be a big issue in the upcoming legislative session.
“That’s something that Sen. (Kevin) Eltife and Sen. (Robert) Nichols and I are in complete agreement on,” he said. “East Texas will be part of the new water plan, and its water and other natural resources will be protected.”
But compromise will be necessary, he added.
“We do need to address water needs for the state,” he said. “We have to be fair to all. If the Texas economy slows down (because of water issues), then all Texans will be hurt.”
He said he’s sure a solution can be found that will be equitable to East Texas.
If Deuell maintains his lead as all the votes come in, he’ll face Libertarian Don Bates who will be on the ballot in November.
There is no Democratic candidate for the seat. The Tyler Morning Telegraph will publish complete results as soon as they’re available.