3 local races headed to runoffs

Several local races are headed to runoffs after the Tuesday’s Republican primary election.


Runoffs happen when no one earns a majority of the vote, which is 50 percent plus one vote.

In that case, the top two vote-getters face off in a May 22 election. The three runoffs in Potter and Randall counties will effectively decide who wins the office since there are no Democrats running in the general election in November.

Here are the races:

320th District Court — Pamela Sirmon and Steven Denny are set to duke it out in a runoff for 320th District Court judge.

Sirmon, who is the current judge of Potter County Court-at-Law No. 2, took 37 percent of the vote in the four-way primary contest.

Denny, a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, pulled in 31 percent. Two other candidates, Marcus Norris and Lynda Smith, received 21 and 11 percent of the vote respectively.

The court hears felony criminal cases along with civil, family and child protective services cases. The incumbent since 1985, Judge Don Emerson, is not running again.

Potter County Court-at-Law No. 1 — Walt Weaver, an attorney and former prosecutor, came close to winning the three-way judge race outright, with 48 percent of the votes cast in his favor.

He will instead have a re-match with Len Walker, also an attorney and former prosecutor, who nabbed 39 percent of the vote. The third candidate, Kerry Brian Haney, was knocked out of contention after receiving 13 percent.

The county courts hears criminal misdemeanor cases, civil cases with a $200,000 cap and family and probate cases. The winner will replace longtime Judge W.F. “Corky” Roberts, who is retiring.

Potter County Court-at-Law No. 2— Matt Hand and Wade Overstreet are headed to a runoff to replace Sirmon, who has held the seat since her election in 1998.

Hand, a civil litigator at Brown & Fortunato, received 48 percent of the vote compared to 36 percent for Overstreet, the criminal division chief in the Potter County Attorney’s Office.

Jerry Morales was knocked out of the race Tuesday, earning just 16 percent of the total.