Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell expected a greater margin between him and opponent Blane Conklin when early-voting results were released Nov. 8.

Conklin, the Democratic nominee, jumped ahead after early-voting results, receiving 49.15% of the 164,978 ballots cast before Election Day. Gravell, a Republican who won his last election against Conklin in 2018, trailed with 47.63% of the vote. The difference was 2,431 votes.

“When the early-vote numbers came in, I just knew that I needed to be within reach,” Gravell said. “In my mind, I thought that if I was within 5,000-6,000 votes, I could win. I say that because I knew what was going to happen on Election Day. Republicans—more so than Democrats—treat Election Day voting important."

The county’s final unofficial results secured a second term for Gravell. He finished with 49.34% of the vote, or 108,490 votes, while Conklin ended with 46.75%, tallying 102,787 votes. Libertarian Wes Benedict received 3.91% with 8,588 votes.

Gravell said the county has recently struggled to fill its open staff positions and expects that challenge to continue going forward.

“Between the inflation, the job market and the lack of employees, the county is juggling how to fill spots,” he said. “We, as a county, have spent more money and added more money to the bucket through employees, and we still can’t fill all the vacancies.”

Precinct 2 County Commissioner Cynthia Long will tack on another four years to her 16-year run in the position. She collected 54.02% of the vote, or 30,986 votes, in her victory over Democrat Brigid Lester. Lester received 45.98%, or 26,370 votes.

Long said her focus over the next four years is to keep tax rates low, improve infrastructure, help provide jobs and provide sufficient funding for law enforcement.

“I think the challenges, at least in the near term, are what’s going on in the economy and how that may or may not impact us and how long this downturn exists,” she said. “Things are more expensive; interest rates are up; and we absolutely have to make sure we’re mindful of that as the county continues to provide services to our citizens.”

Precinct 4 County Commissioner Russ Boles will also serve another term after winning his first election in 2018. This go around, he received 54.09% of the vote with 27,969 votes, defeating Democrat Jose Orta, who recorded 45.91% and 23,735 votes.

Boles thanked his opponent in a Nov. 9 Facebook post, writing Orta “ran a tough race and is a man who cares deeply about East Williamson County.”

Community Impact called Boles for comment but could not reach him by press time.

The three officials will be sworn in for their new terms on Jan. 1.

Results are unofficial until canvassed. Visit communityimpact.com/voter-guide to see results from all local elections in your community.