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Primary 2010: The Liveblog

Election day through the eyes of our reporters and readers across Texas. Eleven hours of nonstop live photos, news and updates let you follow along visually as the day unfolded.

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Months of campaigning and millions of dollars all come down to this. Voters across Texas are heading to the polls to pick candidates up and down the ballot — from the wacky scramble for governor down to district judgeships that can bring out the most bitter of rivalries.

We invite you, our viewers and readers, to submit content for our live updates throughout the day. Email us at media@texastribune.org or use the Twitter hashtag #txprimary to tell us what you're seeing — or even better, send in photo updates that we'll post in this space. We'll update you here with all our features that are going to pop up to give you a better look at the results tonight, too.

Bookmark us and refresh often.

Liveblog

by Elise Hu
I awoke this morning with updates from y'all's polling places already, so a big thank you to those of you who already started sending in your photos. Keep 'em coming.
by Elise Hu
A feature to point you to as we get started today.

We've created a data app with all the latest campaign finance totals for all the statewide and Texas Legislature candidates, where you can see just how much candidates are spending to win your votes. (Quick trivia: $150 million has been raised and spent by the major-party candidates since January 2009.)
by Elise Hu
Awww, a cute kid. Methinks he's too young to vote.
by Elise Hu
Democrat Bill White's volunteers are out on the UT campus, getting out the vote.
by Elise Hu
We're pumped about your submissions, y'all! Here's a look at a Dallas polling place from this morning. Our reader, Allan, reports he was the second one to show up this morning and that things were pretty quiet.




by Elise Hu
All the way from a different time zone (El Paso), we have a submission from the Jay Kleberg campaign. Kleberg, you may recall, is running against Dee Margo in the GOP primary for the Texas House seat currently held by state Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso.

by Elise Hu
If you haven't heard, Department of Justice officials are monitoring polling places in five Texas counties today. Williamson, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gonzales and Wilson are hosting federal election monitors who are making sure there are enough bilingual polling workers at the precincts. Williamson County Elections Administrator Rick Barron says the officials are indeed in town.

"[The DOJ official] was cryptic, he wouldn't give us a reason why they were here, he said it wasn't indicative of any wrongdoing, they were just here. We don't receive any feedback afterward, either," said Barron.
by Elise Hu
Curious about tonight's parties?

Rick Perry is at the Salt Lick in Driftwood.
8:00 p.m. - Driftwood
Salt Lick BBQ
The Pavilion
18400 FM 1826

Kay Bailey Hutchison is in Dallas.
Eddie Deen’s Ranch
The Town Hall Room
944 South Lamar
Dallas, TX 75202

Debra Medina is in Wharton.
Hinzes BBQ in Wharton Texas
8229 US Hwy 59
9 pm to 12 midnight

Bill White is in Houston
7:00pm
Legends Ballroom, First Floor
2222 West Loop South
Houston, Texas 77027

Farouk Shami is also in Houston
Westin Galleria
5060 West Alabama
by Elise Hu
The photos keep on coming. Here's Zeena Angadicheril, a supporter of District Judge candidate Amy Clark Meachum's, working precinct 275, Hyde Park United Methodist Church, in Austin.


by Elise Hu
Shout-out to my friend Dave at Politico, who is not a Texan but dared to pick out five things to watch in today's Texas primary.

by Elise Hu
Up in Waco, Republican congressional candidate Bill Flores is out working the polls. This is a shot from just moments ago, taken at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit.


by Elise Hu
Update from the Secretary of State's office: Quiet, so "it seems like things are going smoothly." Because no returns are reported until after seven, the SOS can't really say anything about turnout right now.

What to expect: After polls close, counties will start reporting returns to the SOS, so the first numbers you see after 7pm will represent early voting totals. The Texas Tribune will update our real time results page in sync with the SOS system, so check back often.
by Elise Hu
No doubt this isn't the only scene of phone banking going on in Texas today - this is a look at a Bill White call center.



by Elise Hu
An update from reader Benjamin Pollock: Debra Medina stopped at Riverwood Middle School in Kingwood and spent time campaigning alongside Dr. Martin Basaldua, candidate for State Rep in district 127, for about 30 minutes.
by Elise Hu
From reader Patrick Fortner: "This gentleman was holding this sign at Mills Elementary in South Austin this morning, about 7:30 a.m. It had Medina for Governor on the flip side."

by Elise Hu
If you haven't sent in photos or updates yet, again the email address is media@texastribune.org. We're curious what turnout looks like, or if anything interesting is happening at your polling place. Steady as we go straight to 7pm...
by Elise Hu
One of the closest district judge races in Austin right now is the challenge to sitting Judge Jan Patterson by Austin attorney Amy Clark Meachum. Meachum has gotten a lot of establishment D support, including that of state Sen. Kirk Watson, who appeared in a massive mailer with her. Both Patterson and Meachum were out at Cassis Elementary School's precinct this morning, where we taped HuTube. A reader, Lisa Hobbs, sent in this photo of Meachum and Hobb's daughter.
by Elise Hu
Over in the four-way race for the seat of outgoing state Rep. Dan Gattis, R-Georgetown, candidate Stephen Thomas is out looking for votes. In his Cedar Park precinct, turnout is reportedly setting a new high - more R voters at his home precinct than previously recorded.
by Elise Hu
Earlier I listed the election night parties for the major gubernatorial candidates, and I guess it was enough to inspire Matt "Data" Stiles to make a handy Google map of those locations for you. Hope this is marginally helpful for you political partyhoppers tonight.


View Election Night Events in a larger map
by Elise Hu
Sources are telling us election day turnout is steady or slow. As election judges told us earlier today the "action" is really in early voting these days, with some counties showing early voting making up 50% or more of their total turnout.
by Elise Hu
As of 2:30 p.m., 5,079 had voted in Lubbock County, the Avalanche-Journal is reporting. At least 4,455 of them were Republicans.

"A reporter who spoke with some voters today said many kept their focus on the governor’s battle between Gov. Rick Perry, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and party activist Debra Medina. That fits with what the experts told us a couple weeks ago: the expensive, long-simmering battle between Perry and Hutchison had driven up turnout across the state."
by Elise Hu
Photographer Justin Dehn just arrived in Dallas for KBH's party tonight. He snapped a photo of the media risers at Eddie Deen's ranch.
by Elise Hu
Here in Austin, the University Democrats are phonebanking for blue candidates. Things are starting to pick up pace -- keep those updates coming.

by Elise Hu
One of the hot House races we're watching is in Dallas, where admitted felon Terri Hodge may actually eek out a win in her Democratic primary despite withdrawing her re-election bid. (She withdrew too late to get her name off the ballot.)

According to the Dallas Observer, Dallas County Democratic Party chair Darlene Ewing is predicting that newcomer Eric Johnson will fall short when votes are tallied tonight.
by Elise Hu
Twitter follower @vincentharris is voting in the contentious HD-66 race we profiled a few weeks ago. That's the race in Plano for the seat of outgoing state Rep. Brian McCall, R-Plano. This is the first line at a polling place I've seen all day. Good to see.


by Elise Hu
CNN's new State of the Union host and longtime political reporter Candy Crowley's in Texas. It looks like she's doing a liveshot out by the Salt Lick, where Gov. Perry is hosting his victory party tonight.
by Elise Hu
We're continuing with the TV reporter theme for a moment for the parade of blue suits up in Dallas for the KBH party tonight. Hutchison is going to be watching returns tonight from a Dallas hotel room (we're not sure which one), and emerging sometime before the 10pm newscasts.
by Elise Hu
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is reporting police arrested a Debra Medina supporter in Watauga for allegedly refusing to comply with a city ordinance that prevents campaign signs on city property. "Christopher Howe, 29, of Fort Worth was still in jail early Tuesday afternoon facing a $150 fine and court costs for the misdemeanor offense, said Detective Jason Babcock, police spokesman," reports the Star-Telegram.
by Elise Hu
As we await primary results, Nathan Daschle, Executive Director of the Democratic Governors Association just sent out a memo, one part which said the DGA will play in Texas. "The Democratic Governors Association is expanding the playing field deep into Republican territory in this election cycle," the memo reads. "For the first time in our history, the DGA is committed to Texas – a commitment we have already demonstrated with a $500,000 contribution to the White campaign. In fact, Texas joins the four other biggest states in the country – California, Florida, Illinois and New York – as a place where Democrats have good odds of delivering a victory in November."
by Elise Hu
Big thanks to our friends at the KBH campaign who submitted this private moment of the senator, giving radio interviews in a hotel room this afternoon.
by Elise Hu
Holy cow it's almost one hour til polls close! This afternoon has flown by. If you haven't cast a ballot yet, get on out to your precinct.
by Elise Hu
If you're following along with us, you get an early heads up. We're about to flip the switch on our site to ELECTION NIGHT MADNESS mode (I just made up that name). What that will mean for you is real time results anchored on the home page under a new section we're calling "ElectionWire", and the election night catchall landing page, which will host our interactive county-by-county maps. Stay with us, political junkies, this is going to be way fun.
by Elise Hu
You've been sharing your photos with us all day, so it's only fair I share one of our photos with you. Too bad there's not much to show. It's the calm before the storm in the TT office.

XXTTTXTXTXT


by Elise Hu
Yay! The elections landing page is live. Bookmark this link and check back often for all your Texas election results in realtime, plus interactive maps, all our reporter coverage and of course, this ongoing crowd source fun.

http://www.texastribune.org/texas-election-results/texas-2010-election-primary/
by Elise Hu
Over in Wharton County, photographers are getting set up at Debra Medina's election night watch party. The scene looks very down home country.
by Elise Hu
A word on how best to use our interactive results maps. You'll see as results start coming in, counties in Texas are getting filled in (click on the Democrats tab for the blue results). Roll your mouse over the counties as they start coming in.

Matt Stiles and developer Niran Babalola, who oversaw these results maps and how they interact with our site, warn to take these numbers with a grain of salt until about 8pm, when the results are fuller.
by Elise Hu
It still looks pretty quiet from Medina headquarters, where photographer Scott McKenney sent us a photo of the mic setup from where the candidate will speak. With 1% of the vote reporting, Medina is at 15%, in third behind Perry and Hutchison
by Elise Hu
The crowd's filling into Eddie Deen's ranch for KBH's election night party...
by Elise Hu
OK a brief overview on Texas House races we're watching: Eric Johnson is up in early voting against admitted felon Terri Hodge in the Dallas HD-100 district, in Plano (McCall's district), Mabrie Jackson is up in early returns and in the Richardson district currently held by state Rep. Carol Kent, Stephanie Carter has a wide early vote lead over Geoff Bailey.
by Elise Hu
What's going on out there at the parties? Tweet us @texastribune or send me an update! media@texastribune.org
Our reporters are staying on top of legislative races for you with a succession of blog posts, so reload your TT homepage often.
by Elise Hu
Early returns in the SBOE race between Ken Mercer and Tim Tuggey show Mercer opening up a wide early lead. This is one of the two SBOE races we're watching - the other is the challenge by Thomas Ratliff to Don McLeroy, former SBOE chair. And I just heard AP has called the race for Ken Mercer, the incumbent SBOE member and former state representative.
by Elise Hu
Speaking of SBOE member Ken Mercer, a timely submission from a reader! The reader, a Democrat attended his precinct convention and Ken Mercer was attending the Republican convention.
by Elise Hu
And the AP has called the Democratic gubernatorial race for Bill White. Here's a look from our photograher in Houston, at the podium where White will speak tonight. (The party is at the Intercontinental Hotel overlooking Discovery Green park in H-town.)
by Elise Hu
An update from the KBH campaign party: "Not much happening here yet, about 100 people have stopped by so far. BBQ is on the campaign...cash bar. About 20 people in line for traditional Texas BBQ...media trying to cut the line for free food as usual," says Bob Daemmerich, our intrepid photographer.
by Elise Hu
Another nice photo from our shooter, Callie, in Houston. Here's a look a supporters gathered at the hotel venue, awaiting the victory speech.

by Elise Hu
Our photos from the Rick Perry victory party are starting to come in! Photographer Caleb Miller snapped a shot of all the laptops at Salt Lick BBQ. Perry probably won't take the stage tonight until just before the 10pm newscasts.
by Elise Hu
And the Republican Governor's Association hits back! Earlier in this live blog, I included a message from the Democratic Governor's Association saying it will play in Texas and aid Bill White. Now that White's captured the nomination, we hear from the RGA Executive Director, Nick Ayers.

“While we will never take anything for granted, we would be a lot more concerned if Bill White were the Democratic candidate in New York where his opposition to the 2nd Amendment, push for tax increases, and staunch support for other items on the leftist agenda might be a bit more palatable. It is going to cost the Democratic Governors Association a lot more than a half-million dollars of trial lawyer and big labor union money to give Bill White’s record the extreme makeover it needs.

“Once Texans get a clear picture of Bill White’s liberal record, I think they will collectively say, ‘Houston, we have a problem.’”
by Elise Hu
Photographers at the Perry party in Driftwood says it's packed - lots of hats and handshaking. Photog Todd says it looks like there's some sort of unofficial denim or khaki dress code, a lot of press fuss and pretty girls. Oh, and plenty of country music.


by Elise Hu
I'm interrupting this liveblog for a moment to bring you the MUSIC VIDEO of the Farouk Shami "Farouk is on Fire" hip-hop song. (Farouk has already lost his primary bid, but I guess we can still enjoy the song, right?)
by Elise Hu
All the party updates sound lively. If you haven't checked our race results maps in awhile, they are starting to get much more filled in and so much more colorful. I love it!
by Elise Hu
OK let's give you a quick review. In the D Ag commish race, Kinky appears to be losing to Hank Gilbert. In the Lt Gov race between Ronnie Earle and Linda Chavez-Thompson, Thompson's up in early voting totals, and in the Texas House, incumbents Vicki Truitt and Chuck Hopson both have early leads so far.
by Elise Hu
Here in Travis County, 25 smaller downballot campaigns are having a joint party and Tribune friend Katherine Stolp sent us this photo. Looking at all these party photos is starting to give me some cabin fever.

by Elise Hu
Another House race update, state Rep. Al Edwards is up about ten points over challenger and former state Rep. Borris Miles in Houston, and state Rep. Tommy Merritt is in danger of losing his re-election bid out in East Texas.
by Elise Hu
Bill White's on stage in Houston right now if you have a television nearby and it is carrying the live feed.
by Elise Hu
Perry, meanwhile, has yet to take the stage, but people are having a mighty fine time at his party, dancing the night away.


by Elise Hu
Jenny Hoff from Austin's KXAN-TV is at the White speech in Houston right now and sends us this photo update. Thanks for all being so gracious and participatory in this live event tonight, friends. It's really been a lot of fun and a great kaleidoscope to share with viewers.
by Elise Hu
KBH taking the stage in Dallas now.
by Elise Hu
KBH has conceded. "I've called Governor Perry to congratulate him on his victory," she says.
by Elise Hu
Kinky Friedman is looking glum at his election night party, as early returns show him trailing Hank Gilbert by a wide margin.

by Elise Hu
How about this for a photo saying 1,000 words? KBH's supporters before she took the stage to concede tonight:
by Elise Hu
Something we're all watching is Railroad Commissioner Victor Carrillo, who is looking like he may lose his re-election bid in the primary. Keeping our eyes peeled.
by Elise Hu
Meanwhile, the DGA and RGA (respective party governors associations) are flooding press inboxes with their back-and-forth over Perry and White already.
by Elise Hu
The photographer at White's party just sent in her shot from the White speech in Houston.


by Elise Hu
Perry on stage now in Driftwood.
by Elise Hu
"I took a phone call from Senator Hutchison, I greatly appreciate the gracious way she extended her support to us... to unite the party. I thanked her for her kindness and the campaign that she had run. I really look forward to working with her and her supporters over the night eight months as we go forward," Perry says.
by Elise Hu
Perry says a lot of new people participated in this election cycle and that it bodes well for the state. The victorious governor seems to keep his aim at Washington, which is surely going to arouse more questions about his national ambitions. "Washington cannot hide from the fact that Congress took the national debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion... Texas voters said no, no to Washington bureaucrats making decisions that state leaders and citizens should be making for themselves," he says.
by Elise Hu
A quick update from the Farouk Shami campaign... it has released a statement conceding to Bill White in the Democratic primary for governor:

"A defeat is only a defeat if you let it stop you," Shami says in the statement. "I will not let today's results stop me. Although I will not be our nominee for Governor, I will continue to fight for those I have met on the campaign trail."
by Elise Hu
Linda Chavez-Thompson has declared victory in her Dem Lt. Gov race against Ronnie Earle.
by Elise Hu
As the national press starts writing stories speculating about Perry running for president in 2012, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey waves goodnight.
by Elise Hu
Just an update if you haven't left this page for awhile - we have full audio of White, Hutchison and Perry's speeches up on the main page now if you want to take a listen.
by Elise Hu
Over in Wharton, Debra Medina has said she wants to wait until more restuls come in before issuing any concession. She's looking pretty even-keeled as she gives a TV interview...

by Elise Hu
OK folks, eleven hours after we started, I'm going to bring this liveblog to a close. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your numerous photos and emails and text message updates from across the state. It thrilled us to no end to have such a community participating in telling the narrative of this day. It's the power of the social web, and you better believe we believe in it. Keep supporting the Texas Tribune and we promise to keep giving you our best efforts.

Results will continue updating, and a room full of reporters are blogging updates on individual races. Stay tuned.

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