Updated 8:15 a.m. CST, March 2
Incumbent Mark Herman secured the Republican nomination for Harris County Constable Precinct 4 on Tuesday night, defeating challenger Rolf Nelson by a large margin.
"I'm just honored to be elected by our constituents," Herman said. "We're going to continue to run our campaign just like we have been. Mobility and public safety are going to be our No. 1 priorities."
With all 193 precincts reporting, Herman had 81 percent of the votes, or 66,253 votes, ahead of Nelson who nabbed 19 percent of the vote, or 15,856 votes.
Herman will face Democratic challenger Jeff McGowen in the Nov. 8 general election for the constable position supervising more than 400 law enforcement officers and administrative staff in Precinct 4. Constables serve a four-year term if elected.
McGowen—a sergeant with the Harris County Sheriff's Office—was the only Democrat on the March 1 ballot so he will automatically appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.
"I am going to focus on the community," McGowen said. "I believe law enforcement and the community need to work together to battle some of the crime issues in Harris County."
Mobility and traffic enforcement are also high priorities for the next constable, McGowen said.
"Mobility is what I do on a daily basis," he said.
Herman has worked for the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office since 1986—starting his career as a patrol deputy and eventually —in 2008—being promoted to assistant chief.
The Harris County Commissioners Court appointed Herman as constable for Precinct 4 on May 19 in a unanimous vote. Herman replaced former Precinct 4 Constable Ron Hickman who was appointed as Harris County sheriff the same month.
Herman said his top three issues if elected are stopping crime, traffic enforcement and mobility issues. He said he had embarked on a "listening tour" during his campaign to gather ideas important to area residents.
“My main goal is to continue to do what we are already doing—fight crime,” Herman said. “My other goal is to maintain the public trust and overall public safety in the area.”
Nelson, a captain with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, said he ran for constable because he believed there has been a rise in violent crime in Precinct 4 as the population of the area has increased.
"It's hard to take a loss," Nelson said. "The voters made a choice. They made their choice loud and clear."
All results are unofficial until canvassed.