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Cole, Leach headed for runoff in District 67 race
Jeran Akers will not return as Celina Chamber president
Former Plano mayor and Celina Chamber CEO Jeran Akers lost his bid for the State House District 67 congressional seat.
He racked up only 11 percent of the votes. Akers said while the race didn’t turn out the way he wished, he enjoyed campaigning.
“This was one of the most fun races I have had in many ways,” Akers said. “It was really fun watching the two youngsters (Leach and Cole) who came out on top. In many ways, it was a lot of fun since it reminded me of many of the previous races I have run.”
Akers said he will not be returning to his position as the president and CEO of the Celina Chamber of Commerce, but said he will remain active in Celina as well as Plano. He said he plans to continue working for conservative causes in Collin County, as well as spending time with his family and promoting causes dear to his heart such as organ donation.
State House District 67 was held by Jerry Madden for two decades, but a newcomer will occupy the office in January when Madden, who didn’t seek re-election officially retires.
While the winners of many races were determined Tuesday night during the Republican and Democratic primaries, Madden’s successor will likely not be determined until after a July 31 runoff between Jon Cole (32 percent) and Jeff Leach (30 percent), neither of whome received the required 50 percent of the vote to avoid a second election. No Democrats are seeking the seat, meaning the winner of the runoff will likely win in November.
“I think this is great since it gives us two more months to spread our conservative message,” Cole said. “We are going to keep our grassroots campaign going forward.”
Leach said he was happy with the results and looks forward to the July runoff.
“We celebrated a great victory tonight with over 30 percent of the vote,” Leach wrote on his Facebook page. “I am honored to have received such a significant percentage of the vote in a hotly contested five-way race. Tomorrow we start working toward a victory in the runoff on July 31.”
Also running against Cole and Leach were Roger Burns and John Pitchford. Burns picked up 22 percent of the vote and Pitchford received 4 percent. Burns and Pitchford did not return requests for comment after the results were final.
Celina resident Craig James lost his run for the United States Senate. He received 4.26 percent of the vote.
His opponents Curt Cleaver received 0.28 percent, Joe Agris 0.15 percent, Glenn Addison 0.87 percent, Ted Cruz nearly 35 percent, Ben Gambini 0.25 percent, Tom Leppert 27.04 percent and Lela Pttenger 1.04 percent.
David Dewhurst received 30.65 percent of the vote. Dewhurst and Cruz will face each other in a runoff election on July 31.
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