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Dewhurst re-elected as lieutenant governor

Nov. 8, 2006

Associated Press
Republican Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst claims victory in his re-election campaign Tuesday in Austin. The incumbent in the race, Dewhurst focused his campaign on his education program.


AUSTIN -- In the race for lieutenant governor, Republican David Dewhurst was leading with 59 percent of the vote, with 66.5 percent of precincts reporting.

Dewhust has already given his acceptance speech.

"I have been honored to serve as lieutenant governor for the last four years," Dewhurst said in the speech. "And I'm honored to serve four more."

At press time, Dewhurst had 1,923, 492 votes. There were 3,254,518 votes counted in all.

Dewhurst ran against Democrat Maria Luisa Alvarado and Libertarian candidate Judy Baker.

Alvarado said she doesn't see the campaign as a wasted effort.

"In no way can I go back to living a private life," Alvarado said. "I've gained too much knowledge about what goes on in government."

In 2002 Dewhurst became the second Republican in Texas history to serve as lieutenant governor, the second-most powerful position is Texas government.

"It's a victory for Texas, a victory for all Republicans," Dewhurst said in a speech Tuesday night at the Omni Hotel in Austin.

Dewhurst's main platform was two-fold. While focusing on education reform, Dewhurst also campaigned heavily for Jessica's Law. If enacted, Jessica's Law would mandate that all sex offenders be sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in jail.

During his previous term as lieutenant governor, Dewhurst led the charge to pass meaningful school finance reforms to raise academic standards. He also gave teachers a $2,000 across-the-board pay raise.

He also implemented a initiative at high schools to reduce the dropout rate and lower local school property taxes by one-third in 2007, said Enrique Marquez, Dewhurst's campaign spokesman.

During his next turn in office, Dewhurst plans to implement Texas Children First, his comprehensive five-point plan which he says addresses the needs of Texas children.

The goals of Dewhurst's program include protecting Texas children from harm and abuse and internet predators. It also aims to provide safe schools, keeping Texas children healthy and smart. Education is a top priority of the program.

Marquez said Dewhurst spent millions on his campaign, which included TV ads.

Some people are predicting that Dewhurst will run for governor in 2010, said Jordan Powell, a Greenville sophomore. However, Dewhurst has not officially announced any intent to run.

Alvarado said she considered the experience an honor.

"I went directly to the people," Alvarado said. "They deserve an elected official who listens to them."

Last night was a victory for Republicans in both the lieutenant governor and gubernatorial races.

"It shows our state is on the right track," said Houston sophomore Erica Mooney. "And it will continue to be on the right track with the reforms Dewhurst has proposed."

Laura Frase contributed to this report.