Delwin Jones Wins 60% of District 83 Votes; NewsChannel 11 Asks an Expert Why - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/8/06

Delwin Jones Wins 60% of District 83 Votes; NewsChannel 11 Asks an Expert Why

Lubbock voters are still buzzing about the most talked about race in the Lubbock primary election. Incumbent Delwin Jones won with 60% of the vote in the race for State Representative District 83. Van Wilson received 24% and Frank Morrison received 16%. So what led to this overwhelming support for Jones? NewsChannel 11's Kealey McIntire talked to a political expert and explains how campaign funding and mudslinging factored in.

If you look at the campaign contribution records you'll see as of the latest filing last week Van Wilson raised over $301,000, Delwin Jones raised nearly $67,000. Political analyst Morris Wilkes says voters weren't just looking at the amount, but where it came from as well.

The race for District 83 House Representative ended with a Delwin Jones victory. However the competition between Jones and Wilson was a heated one. Wilkes says Wilson's campaign contributions made it a high profile race. "I think the money in that race made that campaign the front page news," said Wilkes.

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He also says Wilson's campaign funds could've helped Jones land in the winners seat.

As of last week Wilson reported almost $302,000 in campaign contributions. The largest, over $250,000, comes from one conservative republican businessman from San Antonio. Jones has said that shows the individual is trying to buy District 83's vote. Wilkes says Wilson showed his ability to raise money, but says it raised questions with voters because most of it came from one person.

"West Texans will decide who their representative is and West Texans want a representative that will represent them and not some down state interest in a large metropolitan area or some leadership group at the state capitol," said Wilkes.

Wilson attacked Jones' voting record throughout his campaign, however Wilkes says because Jones has represented West Texas for decades voters simply dismissed Wilson's accusations. "Lots of people in not only West Texas, but Texas know Delwin Jones, know what he stands for, knows his reputation and work so they didn't buy into what they were hearing," said Wilkes.

While at the polls, many voters told NewsChannel 11 they didn't like the "negative" attitude of Wilson's campaign. Wilkes says such campaigns are normal in these races when you have a challenger trying to remove an incumbent from office. He also says it could've hurt Wilson's voter support.

Again Wilkes says the big issue in this race was Wilson getting the bulk of his money from one businessman. Van Wilson tells us his vote was never for sale and we will hear from him again.

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