Democrats Show Out for Primary Election Watch Party
Democratic hopefuls filled the Bearded Monk. Candidates and Dentonites gathered around a projector screening the Democratic primary results on election night. Food from the outside pizza truck next door is being shuffled in, then ravaged immediately. Jazz night was also doublebooked at the Monk - music played over a frazzled crowd chattering away. The musicians themselves, looking back and forth at the projection.
Beto O'Rourke early on seized the Democratic candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
Diana Leggett won the Denton County Judge position with 75 percent of the vote despite Willie Hudspeth's famous persona for protesting the Confederate monument. Leggett, who entered the Bearded Monk to an applause, said that it's about time people recognized the importance of local county elections.
"I think the personal blockwalking was a big deal, I think my social outreach on social media was a very big deal, I think it was also my expertise. Lastly, I'm a woman and it's our time," Leggett said.
She said her and Hudspeth's campaign share a lot of the same issues, so it wasn't a him over her situation as much as she will fight for him and the issues of all in Denton county. She said the confederate monument is dust.
"Willie had nothing to worry about. He will now have a voice at the table - an appropriate voice and he won't be laughed at," Legget said. "I plan on establishing some committee and R and D [research and development] committees, he will be there, because he's an important man. I'm not going to take anything away from him."
As the night unfurled, the races most closely watched and exchanged about in the Bearded Monk, were the race for U.S. House of Representatives District 26 and the TX House of Reprsentatives District 64.
Will Fisher and Linsey Fagan went back and forth for D26 with both shuffling back and forth around the 50 percent mark of a majority winner. Shortly before midnight, Fagan was the clear winner with Tarrant County votes making the difference.
Andrew Morris and Mat Pruneda both sat under 50 percent with no absolute majority. Matt Farmer, who withdrew from the race two months ago, was still on the ballot. Farmer gained nearly 20% of the vote to help ensure a runoff between Pruneda and Morris.
Pruneda said he's excited for the next two months because Democrats are going to be a focus in the news cycle. In a race which struggled to have Democrats involved in the running, a runoff is more uplifting than intimidating to Pruneda.
"I'm excited about the whole thing [...] My whole thing is the opportunity to serve the people," Pruneda said. "For the next couple of months I'm going to be able to go out and talk to people more, hear more stories and connect with more people."
He said it is not about one person beating another but wanting to serve people and he's excited to earn that right.
"That sounds extremely flowery but it's what I'm about. I'm an activist, I'm a person who got into this not because I wanted to get paid but because I cared about this stuff."
A few of the UNT College Democrats were in attendance and were following the races very closely. For Erich Deschepper, a freshman political science major, he said the Denton Democratic race has been inspiring.
"Especially in the case of Mat Pruneda and Andrew Morris, it's interesting to see they are going to be in this runoff for the next two months, the people of Denton should be ready for some interesting politics," Deschepper said. "I love it, politics is going great right now. This year, we had more of a Democratic turnout than we did in all of 2014."
Header image photographed by Mateo Granados
Header image layout designed by Mateo Granados