in Houston, Texas
In Starr County, not enough volunteers to hold GOP primary runoff
Friday, Aug 03, 2012, 12:47PM CST
By Curt Olson

Not every Republican who wanted to vote in Tuesday’s runoff election could do so.

Starr County Republicans did not vote Tuesday because they had no one to work the polls, the McAllen Monitor reports. It would not have changed the outcome of the GOP races for U.S. Senate, railroad commission, or the Texas Supreme Court race.

The county of about 61,000 people in the Rio Grande Valley west of Hidalgo, south of Jim Hogg and southeast of Zapata counties, does not have an active Republican party chairman. Heavily Democratic, Starr County had 30,259 voters as of May.

Counties run the general election while political parties oversee the primary, including any runoff, but the Republican Party of Texas cannot administer a local primary. No local GOP races were on the May primary ballot, and there was no early voting, the newspaper reported.  

Dora Fankhauser took over as county GOP chairman two years ago when the party was in a similar situation. She stepped down prior to the May primary because she lives in a remote area of the county and had to devote more time to her business.

State GOP leaders called a past county GOP chairman, Benito Trevino, to have people in place for the May primary. Twenty Republicans voted in May, the Monitor reports. But Trevino said he could not find volunteers for the runoff.

Contact Curt Olson at or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.

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