Bolton Gives Dems a Clean Travis Sweep

The Travis County Republican Party's "No Blue Dot" campaign (referring to Travis County's tendency to appear as a blue Democratic Dot on Republican red Texas election maps) has failed miserably.

It took until nearly midnight, but with all 46 precincts reporting, Democrat Valinda Bolton has defeated Republican Bill Welch in state House Dist. 47, at a stroke replacing retiring incumbent GOP Rep. Terry Keel and turning the Travis Co. House delegation solid blue. "People are so hungry for change," Bolton had said a few hours earlier, at the Democratic Party election headquarters at the Stephen F. Austin hotel. Reached again by phone just after the final returns were released by the Travis Co. Clerk, Bolton said, "I'm excited, I'm enthusiastic, and I'm just beginning to realize that a whole new phase of my life is about to begin."

Bolton credited her message "of bringing a positive change" for her victory, and her emphasis on the importance of public education. But she immediately added, referring to the national shift to the Democrats, "I'm also aware that a current of change is in the air that's way larger than this district."

By the numbers, Bolton entered the day with an early vote lead of 49.9% to Welch's 46.9%, and stayed steadily ahead, and by evening's end she had increased that percentage slightly (50.24%). But her margin had lengthened because Welch's percentage actually dropped to 45.52% – the difference being the 2,243 votes won by Libertarian candidate Yvonne Schick, who ended the night with 4.24% of the overall vote. Bolton acknowledged that the Libertarian vote likely helped her, because "the Libertarian votes do tend to come from disaffected Republicans, or from people who would otherwise not vote at all."

Earlier in the day, Welch campaign manager Ryan Bohls told the Chronicle that while he was optimistic about the "broad-based support" Welch had received across the district, he would not venture a prediction. Late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning, the Welch campaign did not return calls requesting comment on the outcome of the election.

More Election 2006
Ethically Unchallenging
Ethically Unchallenging
Chris Bell's attorney explains why they're taking Perry to court, instead of to the Texas Ethics Commission.

Richard Whittaker, Nov. 21, 2007

Hard Fight 04, Dirty Fight '06, Court Fight '07
Hard Fight 04, Dirty Fight '06, Court Fight '07
Ranking Dallas County Republicans face libel charges over 2006 election allegations.

Richard Whittaker, Oct. 17, 2007

More by Michael King
Council: Nickels, Dimes … and Millions
Council: Nickels, Dimes … and Millions
Budget readings slog through a difficult fiscal year

Sept. 15, 2017

Which Way to CodeNEXT?
Which Way to CodeNEXT?
A conversation with Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo and Council Member Greg Casar

Sept. 15, 2017


Election 2006, Valinda Bolton, Bill Welch

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)