On Tuesday night, voters in Potter and Randall counties elected the winners of several runoff elections, setting the stage for uncontested November elections to decide who will lead the Amarillo area for the next four years.

First, for the 47th District Court race to replace retiring Judge Dan Schaap, voters selected civil defense litigator Dee Johnson to be the Republican nominee for November. With results in from Armstrong, Potter, and Randall counties, Johnson won 56 percent of the vote to 44 percent for her opponent, criminal defense attorney Joe Marr Wilson. Johnson and Wilson had been locked in a competitive race for months for the seat, which saw each candidate boast a number of endorsements from local attorneys and elected officials.

Johnson will be unopposed in November and is expected to take office next year.

In Randall County, Republican voters selected Tam Boatler as their nominee for county commissioner in Precinct 2. Boatler, a retired Amarillo Police captain, won 67 percent of the vote against Melissa Kalka, who previously worked as constituent services director for former U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry. Boatler will be unopposed in November and will replace Commissioner Buddy DeFord next year.

In Randall County’s Precinct 4, voters selected opera singer Eric Barry to be the Republican nominee for county commissioner over retired banker Terry Wright. Barry won 57 percent of the vote to Wright’s 43 percent. Barry will be unopposed in November and will replace Commissioner Mark Benton next year.

Finally, in Randall County, voters selected law office manager Joanne Garcia Flores to be the Republican nominee for justice of the peace over appointed Judge Kyle Balke. Flores defeated Balke with 52 percent of the vote and will be unopposed in November.

On the Democrat side in Potter County, voters selected Warren Coble to be the party’s nominee for county commissioner in Precinct 4. Coble defeated Melodie Graves with 59 percent of the vote. With his nomination, Coble will be unopposed in November and will replace retiring Commissioner Alphonso Vaughn next year.

Thomas Warren

Thomas Warren, III is the editor-in-chief of the Amarillo Pioneer newspaper in Amarillo, Texas.

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