County judge candidate pool swells to six
By Miles Smith
Four Republicans and two Democrats vying for Caldwell County judge will be on their parties’ respective ballots in the March 2018 primary election.
Republican candidates in the race who filed before the Dec. 11 deadline include Lockhart residents Hoppy Haden, Deward Cummings, incumbent Judge Ken Schawe and Luling resident Johnny Lee Spriggs.
The two candidates Democrat voters will consider in the primary include Lockhart residents Alfredo Munoz and Anna M. Prusaitis Ybarra.
The race for the unexpired Precinct 1 commissioner term, which is up for election after Haden stepped down to run for county judge, now has six candidates.
Running in the Republican primary against Terry Wright, whom Schawe appointed to serve as interim Precinct 1 commissioner through Dec. 31, 2018, are BJ Westmoreland of Lockhart, Chayo Rosario Rodriguez of Maxwell, and Lucy Knight of Lockhart. Ida Reyna-Magallanez of Lockhart will challenge Thom Hanson of Lockhart for the Democratic nomination.
Incumbent Pct. 2 Commissioner Eddie Moses (D-Lockhart) will be unopposed in the primary, but will face opposition by Fred Buchholtz (R-Luling) in the general election.
In Pct. 4, Jerry West was the sole Republican to file for the primary. He will face incumbent Joe Roland (D-Lockhart) in the general election.
Democrats Barbara L. Molina and Reagan “Trey” Hicks are on the ballot for Caldwell County Court at Law Judge. The position will be vacated by longtime Judge Ed Jarrett, who announced his intention to retire earlier this year.
Democrats Amanda Meyers and Sandy Riojas, both of Lockhart, will face off for their party’s nomination for district clerk. The winner will face incumbent Tina Morgan Freeman (R-Lockhart) in the general election.
Republican Debbie Cortez Sanders will run against the Democratic Party’s Teresa Rodriguez for county clerk in November. Neither Lockhart resident is opposed in the primary election.
Incumbent Republican Justice of the Peace for Pct. 1 Matt Keily will face Suzy Falgout in the primary. Aurora “Rhoda” Chavira of Lockhart will claim the Democratic nomination.
Succeeding retiring Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Homer Horne will be either Democrat Joe Tetley and Republican Shanna Conley, barring any write-ins or independent candidates. Neither will be contested in the primaries.
Challenging incumbent Ben E. Brady for JP-3 in the primary will be Martindale resident Lisa Shell Allen. Anita Deleon, also of Martindale, is unopposed on the Democratic ticket.
JP-4 will be decided in the November general election. Dale resident Beverly West will run on the Republican ticket against incumbent Raymond Deleon (D-Lockhart).
At the Federal level, incumbent US Representative for District 27, Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi) faces a bevy of challengers. Challenging Farenthold in the Republican primary are Bech Bruun of Corpus Christi, Chistopher Mapp of Port O’Connor, Eddie Gassman of Corpus Christi, Jerry Hall of Corpus Christi and Michael Hall of Corpus Christi. Running for the Democratic nomination are Eric Holguin of Corpus Christi, Raul (Roy) Barrera of Corpus Christi, Ronnie McDonald of Bastrop and Vanessa Edwards Foster of Houston.
Incumbent District 35 Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) will seek another term in office, having served Central Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1995. He will face David Smalling (R-Maxwell) in the general election.
District 27 and District 35 are at the center of a Federal court case spanning more than six years; as recently as August, Federal judges have ruled that the districts were improperly drawn and ordered that the boundaries be corrected. The gerrymandering, the Court said, was racially motivated to “intentionally [deprive Hispanic voters] of their opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice” in District 27. In September, the Supreme Court stayed the lower court ruling, pending the hearing and decision on an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Incumbent State Representative John Cyrier (R-Lockhart) does not face a challenge in the Primary as he seeks a third term as the State Representative for District 17, having originally earned the position during a 2015 special election.
Bastrop Democrat Michelle Ryan is uncontested on her party’s ballot to face Cyrier in the November general election.
Longtime 207th Judicial District Judge Jack Robison will seek another term on the bench. He remains unopposed after the filing deadline.