By the end of the night Benedict had garnered 18.25%, a tough descent from the 35% he collected in his 2003 race against Danny Thomas. This was a different matchup and different night. He could take some comfort in having developed enough support to do better than single-issue bar owner John Wickham, novice candidate P. Byron Miller, and even the ubiquitous Jennifer Gale who held solitary court over at county election headquarters, insisting to anyone with a microphone or notebook that she was going to win.
Later that night, at his election-watching party at JC's Steakhouse, Benedict said that the state complaints he filed against Dunkerley with the Texas Ethics Commission, charging inaccurate filings and illegal contributions dating back to 2002, will remain active before the commission. "The lawsuit is another matter," he said, referring to his suit filed last week against the Austin Police Association PAC and the Real Estate Council of Austin PAC for campaign finance violations and "laundering" contributions. "That will depend on the generosity of the lawyers involved they're working pro bono, and I can't afford to pay them."
In addition to Toll Party leaders Sal Costello and Linda Curtis, also on hand at the steakhouse was Place 1 candidate Casey Walker, watching the numbers pile up for Place 1 victor Lee Leffingwell. Bill Holloway of the Travis Co. Green Party paid a visit, noting that the local Greens had endorsed Benedict because they agreed with his positions "against the toll roads and against corporate welfare." Holloway said he was disappointed that Benedict and Greens' Place 1 endorsee Andrew Bucknall were fairing so poorly "but I'm heartened that Margot Clarke is doing so well in Place 3."
The party was not without celebration. Just before 10pm, local Libertarian stalwart and state party chair Pat Dixon entered to a small but enthusiastic ovation. He had just been elected in a landslide to the Lago Vista City Council, defeating the incumbent with 68% (650 votes) and said to be the first Libertarian to win a contested Central Texas race. "That'll be the big news for the Libertarians," concluded Benedict with a smile. "My loss is no big deal."