Walker County residents headed to the polls in the Republican primary election knowing that for the first time in nearly three decades they would be selecting a new district attorney.

Tuesday, the voters made their decision. 

Local attorney Will Durham will be the county’s top prosecutor when David Weeks’ term ends in January, since no one chose to ran on the Democratic ticket. Durham ran away with the Republican primary, receiving 71 percent (4,662) of the total votes cast.

First Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Stroud, Durham’s opponent, received 1,905 votes.

Durham said he appreciates the community’s “confidence” in electing him and he looks forward to “serving Walker County” as the next district attorney.

“Let me first say how humbled and overwhelmed I am that you have elected me to be the next district attorney of Walker County,” Durham said Tuesday night. “As a lifelong resident, I have seen so many men and women that I have admired step into leadership positions in this community and, believe me, I intend to honor their legacy, honor this job and honor our community. I know there will be tough decisions ahead and please know that these decisions will be made with integrity, competence and a commitment to making our community safer. Please pray for me as I tackle these new challenges.”

Durham also wanted to thank those who supported him during his campaign.

“Obviously, tonight’s victory would not have been possible without the generous support and tireless efforts of so many who helped me along this journey. I truly appreciate the help of my friends, both old and new, my law office staff, and, of course, my family,” he said. “Thank you to law enforcement for the faith you have in me. You already sacrifice so much for our community, but to have you work so hard behind the scenes for me in this campaign is humbling in a way I simply cannot put into words. I appreciate you and look forward to working with you.”

Durham said he would not have been in the position to serve as the new district attorney without guidance from other attorneys he has worked with during his law career and the support of his family.

“To Mike Park, my law partner and close friend, you have taught me so much about being a successful attorney, but taught me even more about being an honorable and ethical professional. Thank you,” Durham continued. “To David Weeks, I thank you for introducing me to this important and noble profession of being a prosecutor. This community will always be grateful for your career dedicated to protecting all of us. Thank you.

“Finally, thank you to my wife, parents and children. I know I have not thanked you enough nor acknowledged the many sacrifices you’ve made while I’ve campaigned over the last five months.”

State Rep. Ernest Bailes carried Walker County on Tuesday on his bid to re-election. He received 3,930 votes, or 60 percent. His challenger, Emily Kebodeaux Cook, garnered 2,651 votes, or 40 percent.

There were several uncontested races featuring incumbents in Walker County on Tuesday. County Judge Danny Pierce received 5,627 votes; County Court at Law Judge Tracy Sorensen received 5,392; District Clerk Robyn Flowers received 5,443 votes; County Clerk Kari French received 5,270 votes; County Treasurer Amy Klawinsky received 5,279 votes; Precinct 2 Commissioner Ronnie White received 1,807 votes; Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Mark Holt received 888 votes; Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Stephen Cole received 1,234.

The only local candidate in the Democratic primary election was Brian Elvin for county judge. He received 1,033 votes and will face Pierce in November.

Cody Stark is the News Editor and covers Walker County, crime and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.