That high profile position during a time of disaster propelled him past Democratic challenger David Mincberg.
He's one of only a few Harris County Republicans to win. He says that should be a wake-up call to the party.
"Let's be completely honest here, I got a lot of votes in areas that other Republicans didn't get.Î¾ And I think that's going to be a strong message, that Republicans need to reach out and make sure we represent the whole county."
Emmett pledged to supporters that his approach to leading the county will be bipartisan.
"We will now have a county government that will be mixed.Î¾I will work withÎ¾Republicans and Democrats equally, because that what the citizens of Harris County expect."
Emmett says one of his first priorities for his term is to set up a meeting on commuter rail on Highway 290. He says that's one of the projects he wants to get to quickly.
Emmett will serve as Harris County for a two-year term. He comes up for re-election in 2010.
Laurie Johnson. KUHF Houston Public Radio News.