Kerbow wins tight race for JP nomination, Trantham, Valdez move on

James Kerbow hugs his wife, Jessica, after learning he's won the Justice of the Peace nomination. (Photo by Steve Southwell)

In the runoff elections for party nominations in the November general election last night, the smallest race was by far the closest. Competing for the Republican nomination for Justice of the Peace in precinct 3, which covers Lewisville and Highland Village, James Kerbow held leads of just two, 48, 16 and finally 23 votes over Bill Lawrence. This was from an election with 1,309 total voters.

Kerbow said the wait for all the ballots to be counted was excruciating, but refocused on the next steps as he faces Democrat Marianne Poer Vander Stoep in the general election.

“We stay grounded. We stay level. We stay focused. This is not over. There’s an opponent in November,” he said. “But most importantly we wish our other candidates luck and success in the future, and we just focus on what’s next for us.”

Kerbow said Lawrence called him at 12:29 a.m. to congratulate him.

At the county level, David Trantham beat Mark Yarbrough for the Republican district clerk nomination and will face Democrat Yesse Rodriguez in November. Trantham finished more than 3,000 votes behind Yarbrough in the March 6 primary, and barely made the runoff himself — third place Ronnie Anderson was only 104 votes behind.

Compared to the March 6 election, turnout for the May 22 runoff was miserable in both cases. Only 1,309 ballots were cast for Justice of the Peace last night, as opposed to 5,103 in March — in that initial March election, third-place finisher Sherman Schwartz got almost as many votes as there were total ballots cast in the runoff. Lawrence earned almost 500 more than Schwartz did, and Kerbow earned almost 1,000 more.  

The same can be said for the district clerk election, with 8,617 ballots cast last night. Anderson individually pulled 10,180 votes in March and it was only good for third place.

County Judge Mary Horn expressed her support for Kerbow, but lamented the poor runoff numbers.    

“Following this, we’re going to have runoff for the city council election, so we’re going to have a tough time getting people to come out and do that too. I feel sorry for these candidates,” she said. “I’m very glad and happy that James Kerbow has won. I know he will do a good job, and so that’s best for Denton County.”

Statewide, the only race pertaining to Lewisville was the one for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination between former Dallas sheriff Lupe Valdez and Houston businessman Andrew White. Valdez won with 53.1 percent of the vote. This included 56.84 percent of the Denton County vote, which she won along with the other areas surrounding Dallas. The statewide race also suffered from turnout issues.

White congratulated and endorsed Valdez. She will go on to face Gov. Greg Abbott, who already had more than $40 million set aside for the election in January.


  1. Time to work on increasing the turn out in November!! What do you plan to do to help improve the turn out??

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