Candidates file for places on primary ballots
Most races to offer incumbent challenges
By LPR Staff
Many of Caldwell County”s elected officials will face challenges at the polls this year, though many will not meet challenges directly until November”s General Election.
The county”s Democratic and Republican Party Chairs announced this week that 15 candidates had filed for
places on the ballot, with all but four seats going uncontested.
Sitting District Judges Charles Ramsay (22nd Judicial District serving Caldwell, Hays and Comal Counties) and Todd Blomerth (421st Judicial District serving Caldwell County) have both filed, without opposition, for re-election to their current seats. Also, Constables Margarito “Junior” Zapata, Jr., and Art Villarreal, will seek election as Democrats.
Two county-wide races, that of sheriff and of tax assessor-collector, will be opposed, not at the primary level, but during the general election in November.
Incumbent Sheriff Daniel Law, a Democrat, will not face a challenge from his own party during the Primary Election. However, Republican Jim “Jimmy” Parker has also sought a place on the ballot, and will square off with Law in November.
A Republican will also offer a challenge to incumbent Tax Assessor-Collector Mary Vicky Gonzales, who will run unopposed during the Primary. A member of the Tax Office”s staff, Joyce Cayton, has filed and will run on the Republican ticket.
The two incumbent County Commissioners up for re-election this year, Tom Bonn (R – Pct. 1) and Ernesto “Neto” Madrigal (D – Pct. 3) will also face November challenges. Democratic candidate Richard Mendez has filed to seek Bonn”s position, and Republican candidate Sergio Gomez will seek Madrigal”s.
Within the Democratic party, two incumbent candidates will face opposition at the polls during the March Primary.
Precinct 1 Constable Victor “Smitty” Terrell has announced that he will seek re-election, while Fernando “Fred” Pruneda will also seek his party”s support in a bid for office.
Also, incumbent Precinct 2 Constable Richard Callihan has been challenged by W. Neal Rogers.
Potential candidates who have not filed for a place on the ballot still have an opportunity to be elected. Between July 27, 2008 and Aug. 26, 2008, candidates may file their intention to run as “write-in” candidates on the November ballot.
According to Caldwell County Republican Party Chair Terry Alford, contention still exists regarding polling places for the March Primaries.
Since the introduction of the “Help America Vote Act” (HAVA), the party chairs in Caldwell County have locked horns over separate versus combined primary elections. The county”s traditional “split primaries” have been called into question because of the lack of availability of HAVA-compliant electronic voting machines.
Alford reported that, despite negotiations, a compromise could not be reached regarding “combined primaries,” and therefore, polling locations would be reduced in March to ensure HAVA compliance. Democratic Party Chair Philip Ruiz could not be reached for comment.
Primary election locations will be announced in future editions of the Post-Register.
Early voting for the March primary election begins Feb. 19. 2008.