Low voter turnout ended Tom Reed's run for Congress, but not his desire to be in public service, the Texas auto dealer said.
Reed, owner of Lake Motors Inc. (Chevrolet-Oldsmobile-Cadillac) in Eagle Lake, Texas, lost the April 14 Democratic nomination run-off by 1,300 votes. He was hoping to win the nomination so he could run for the U.S. House of Representatives representing Texas' mostly rural 14th District. Reed received 48 percent of the 30,000 votes cast; his opponent, Loy Sneary, got 52 percent and the nomination.
Still, it was a strong showing. In the March 10 primary, Reed received 27 percent of the votes; Sneary received 40 percent. A candidate must win more than 50 percent of the votes to be declared the winner. Sneary faces Republican incumbent Rep. Ron Paul in November.
Reed, 42, said what really put Sneary over the top was that Sneary's home county - Matagorda - had several local run-off elections that drew 5,000 voters to the polls. Sneary took 69 percent of the votes in his home county.
But in Reed's home county - Colorado - and several other counties in the 22-county district, the Demo-cratic congressional nomina- tion was the only race on the ballot. Reed took 74 percent of the 1,000 ballots cast in Colorado County.
'I was a victim of geography,' Reed said. 'He had the luck of having a home county with local run-off elections for county judge, county commissioner, justice of the peace and country clerk. That was the margin of victory.'
Last week, Reed spent most of his time in his dealership's service department filling in for his service manager who had earned a trip to Hawaii. The dealer says that he still has political aspirations, and that he will run for public office again.
'It was so close; we ran the race with integrity and positively,' he said. 'I'm sure I'll do it again.'