Number of Democrats, all incumbents and unopposed, elected to county-level office in Foard Co. despite the fact that 48% of all votes cast there were straight-ticket Republican.
Democratic Sheriff/Tax Assessor-Collector Mike Brown, County Attorney Marshall Capps, County Comms. Rick Hammonds and Larry Wright, and Constable Lee Hammonds were re-elected in a county that gave 75% of its votes to Donald Trump and around 70% of its votes to every statewide Republican candidate. Staley Heatley, the Democratic district attorney for the three-county 49th Judicial District that includes Foard Co., also was unopposed. Brown, the best performing Democratic official, received around 20% of his total votes from straight-ticket Republican voters.
Foard Co. is the northernmost blue-shaded county on the map below. It is located on the remnants of what used to be a Democrat-dominated Texas Panhandle political landscape.
While elected Democrats have disappeared from most counties in the region, Foard Co. and some of its immediate neighbors continue to return (longtime) Democratic incumbents to office, resisting both the larger electoral tidal forces and the many waves of party switchers that turned West Texas a very deep red.
The number of straight-ticket Republican votes cast in Foard Co. rose 31% from 2012, jumping from 186 to 244. Meanwhile, the number of straight-ticket Democratic votes cast fell 28%, dropping from 109 to just 79. Yet, Foard Co. remains one of just a handful of counties with no Republican Party infrastructure and no county chair. Thirty-one votes were reported in the 2016 Republican primary, which may have been the first Republican primary ever held there (No votes were reported for prior years). That’s one tenth the 310 votes cast in the Democratic primary.
How much longer Foard Co. can stay blue, at least locally, remains to be seen. Barring any party switch announcements, it will be until at least 2019.