UPDATED– Early voting reactions: Hawk watch party
UPDATE 11:32 p.m.
The crowd began to thin out after Hawk declared victory around 11 p.m., but the enthusiasm reached a new height.
Cheryl McWithey, Hawk’s sister-in-law, summed up the crowd’s sentiments:
“I’m very excited!”
The crowd continued to rumble with energy as Katy Perry’s “Roar” played in the background.
UPDATE 10:24 p.m.
Susan Hawk is maintaining her lead in the race for Dallas District Attorney, but by a smaller margin than earlier tonight.
Hawk is up 0.35 percent over Craig Watkins. She has 50.35 percent of the vote to Watkins’ 49.65 percent with 543 precincts reporting.
Hawk leads Watkins by 2,343 votes.
So far, Hawk has maintained her lead throughout the night. Most of Hawk’s support has come from northern precincts.
UPDATE 9:56 p.m.
Susan Hawk’s supporters whooped and cheered as the Republican candidate for Dallas District Attorney gained momentum in a tight race against the Democratic incumbent, Craig Watkins.
Hawk increased her lead to 50.42 percent to Watkins’ 49.58 percent with 362 precincts reporting.
Supporter Shelley Shook could barely contain her excitement when she found out Hawk’s margin had increased.
“I feel a lot more optimistic now,” said the former prosecutor who worked with Hawk. “I was feeling dejected after the early voting results.”
UPDATE 9:26 p.m.
News quietly broke that Wendy Davis called Greg Abbott to concede a little before 9 p.m. at Susan Hawk’s watch party.
While Hawk is a Republican candidate, some Hawk supporters at the party were frustrated about the governor race result.
Beatrice Martinez was disappointed that Davis conceded so early.
“I was really wanting a closer election,” she said.
She thinks people voted against Davis because of her gender.
“This is what our state thinks of women and of teachers: we don’t matter.”
Clarissa Carter felt similarly.
“Whether you loved or hated Ann Richards, Wendy Davis was our new hope,” Carter said.
The atmosphere remained lively at the downtown event as watch party attendees continued to focus on the still-inconclusive District Attorney results.
UPDATE 8:37 p.m.
Hawk is still up over Watkins, but only marginally as Election Day results begin to trickle in. She has 50.15 percent of the vote, and Watkins has 49.85 percent with six precincts reporting.
Hawk has a 639 vote advantage in a race that promises to remain tight.
ORIGINAL POST: 7:58 p.m.
Supporters at the Susan Hawk watch party at the downtown Meso Maya stared anxiously as the results of early voting for Dallas District Attorney refreshed on the large projector screen in the center of the room.
The race for DA remains tight following early voting results. Hawk (R) is up 0.2 percent over two-term incumbent Craig Watkins (D).
Hawk received 105,345 of 50.1 percent of the early votes. Watkins got 104,931 or 49.9 percent. That’s a difference of a mere 414 votes.
“It’s nerve-racking!” supporter Mary Dugay said.
Dugay, a 30-year-old from France, is holding out hope that the Republican candidate may secure a victory.
“It’s hard to tell,” she said. “I think Susan Hawk has a good chance to win.”
Jimmy Heath, a firefighter, is less optimistic.
“It’s probably not enough,” he said.