By Kathi Bliss
While attorneys continue to grapple in Federal District Court over the lines drawn for the State and Federal voting districts in Texas, local candidates are gearing up for the local primaries, which as of a court decision last week, are expected to be held on April 3, 2012.
Two Democrats and four Republicans have filed for places on the ballot for the Precinct One County Commissioner’s seat currently held by Commissioner John Cyrier.
On the Republican ticket, Kent Riddle will square off with Todd Smith, Richard Mendez and Kathy Sellers for a place on the ballot, while Democrat voters will be asked to choose between Alfredo R. Munoz and Kevin Wayne Hoskins.
Once the Federal case is settled, filing will reopen in all positions, giving Cyrier the opportunity to re-file for the position, if he chooses to do so.
Incumbent Precinct Three Commissioner Neto Madrigal stands alone in the Democratic primary, but will face a challenge in November from Republican Kathy Haigler, who is currently unopposed on the Republican ticket.
Sheriff Daniel C. Law has filed for re-election in his party’s Primary, and will face a challenge in November from Republican Ray Chandler.
The office of Caldwell County Tax Assessor-Collector yields a two-way race between longtime clerk Joy Morris Pardo and Darla Law on the Democratic ticket. Recent Interim Tax Assessor-Collector appointee Debra Burditt French has filed and is unopposed in the Republican Primary.
The four incumbent Constables, Victor “Smitty” Terrell (Precinct One), Richard Callihan (Precinct Two), Margarito Zapata, “Jr.” (Precinct Three) and Art Villarreal (Precinct Four) have all filed for re-election.
Villarreal faces a primary challenge from longtime Sheriff’s Office employee Paul Cowan, while Terrell will be opposed in November by Republican Constable candidate Richard Polfus, and Callihan will be challenged by Republican Tim Adams.
Seated 421st Judicial District Judge Todd A. Blomerth has filed unopposed for re-election on the Republican ticket, and no challenger has filed as a Democrat.
Local party chairs Arnulfo “Arnold” Alonzo (R) and Philip Ruiz (D) both note the names on the primary ballots could change before April 3, as the reopening of filing could trigger additional candidates to file, and offers the opportunity for those who have currently filed to remove their names from the ballot prior to election.
Watch future issues of the Lockhart Post-Register for updated information on the 2012 Primary Elections as the developing story unfolds in Federal court.