Gerald Daugherty's heavily rotated TV ad of frustrated drivers stuck in traffic proved a worthy investment for the former Travis County Commissioner, who reclaimed the Precinct 3 seat he lost to Karen Huber in 2008. The final results were eerily similar to the returns four years ago, with Daugherty on top this time at 48% to Huber's 46%, and Libertarian Pat Dixon at 5.5%.
With a newer, larger district running southwest to northwest, the Precinct 3 voting demographic tilted in the GOP's favor. Daugherty and Huber hold fundamentally different views on planning and transportation, with Daugherty supporting more roads and Huber favoring other multimodal transit options and strong water-management plans. Huber cited the crowded ballot and the expanded precinct as possible reasons for her loss, on top of the political grudge match over the controversial on-again, off-again plan to build SH 45 in Southwest Austin.
Money, too, was a factor. Daugherty gained momentum – and a $126,022 boost in contributions – in the final weeks of the campaign, while Huber lost ground, raising less than $70,000 in the same fundraising cycle. At what was supposed to be a victory celebration at the Driskill Hotel, Huber's hopes for a second term wilted when her early-vote returns showed Daugherty leading by more than 3,600 votes. "Am I going to be disappointed if he prevails? Yes, because the whole goal [of the 2008 campaign] was to get redirection," she said as she waited out the evening. Huber bested Daugherty in the Election Day vote (47%-45%), but that wasn't sufficient to put her over the top. Huber said she'll remain active on issues she cares about, with water policy topping the list.
Gerald Daugherty (R): 61,726 (48.2%)
Karen Huber (D)*: 59,331 (46.3%)
Pat Dixon (L): 7,103 (5.5%)
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