By Kathi Bliss
The deadline for filing for a place on the 2010 Primary ballot has passed, and Caldwell County residents have responded en masse. The Caldwell County Democratic and Republican Parties announced on Tuesday the names of the candidates who will spend the next eight weeks jockeying for position in the hopes of being nominated by their party to run for local office in the 2010 General Election in November.
The most coveted office is the position of Caldwell County Judge, the county’s highest seat. Incumbent Judge H.T. Wright (D) has decided not to seek re-election, and five hopefuls from the Democratic Party are seeking support to fill his shoes.
Juan Alvarez, Jr., James “Jimmy” Bertram, Herb Schulze, Morris Alexander and Rodrigo Amaya filed officially to run for the position of County Judge on the Democratic Party ballot.
Alvarez, a Lockhart business owner, is a currently seated At-Large Trustee for the Lockhart Independent School District serving his second term.
Bertram is Lockhart’s current mayor, also in his second term
Both Schulze and Alexander have prior experience serving on the Caldwell County Commissioners’ Court, and Amaya is the former City Marshall for the City of Lockhart.
Seated Precinct One Commissioner Tom Bonn has filed for the seat on the Republican ticket, and will not face an opponent at the primary level.
Lockhart resident Deward Cummings, who made a bid for election as Lockhart’s mayor last year, also filed for the position of County Judge, and is running as an independent candidate.
The race will cause certain immediate shifts in local politics.
Under state law supported by an opinion by the Texas Attorney General, Bonn, as a seated Commissioner, will have to resign his seat to run in the election.
He will be replaced on the Commissioners’ Court by an appointee chosen by Wright.
Also, the City of Lockhart will hold a special election in the next 120 days to elect a new mayor. Bertram will maintain his position until his successor is chosen by Lockhart voters. The date of that election, according to City of Lockhart election official Connie Ortiz, will be announced as details and plans develop.
An additional shake-up of the Commissioners’ Court is expected as long-time Precinct Two Commissioner Charles Bullock has opted not to seek re-election.
The Democratic Party has offered up two candidates, Edward “Eddie” Moses and Gilbert Guerrero, to fill Bullock’s seat. Two Republicans, Ken Gossett and Fred Buchholtz, are also seeking the position.
Incumbent Precinct Four Commissioner Joe Ivan Roland has chosen to seek another term in office. He will be challenged in the Democratic Party Primary by Lockhart’s long-time Mayor Pro Tem, Frank Estrada.
Grady Kennan and Grant Rostig are competing for the chance to run for Roland’s seat on the Republican Party ticket.
County Clerk Nina Sells (D) has chosen not to seek another term in office.
Her successor will be chosen in the Democratic Party Primary, as two candidates, Carol Holcomb and Misty Jennings are seeking the party’s nomination, and the Republican Party has not put a candidate on the primary ballot.
Incumbent County Treasurer Lori Rangel-Pompa (D) will also face a challenge in the primary. Amanda N. Maloney has chosen to run against her for her party’s nomination. No Republican candidate filed for the primary.
Three other incumbent officials, County Court at Law Judge Edward Jarrett (D), District Attorney Trey Hicks (D) and District Clerk Tina Morgan (D) are running unopposed on their party’s primary ballot, and do not have named Republican challengers in the fall.
Each of the Caldwell County Justice of the Peace positions are unchallenged in the Primary Elections, with races scheduled to take place in the General Election in November.
Precinct One JP M. Louis Cisneros, a community icon, will not be seeking re-election. Bernie Rangel (D) and Matt Kiely (R) have filed to fill his position.
Incumbent Precinct Two JP Homer Horne (D) will face Republican John Cochran in November.
Incumbent Precinct Three JP Mary Alice Llanas will seek a second term in her office, but must first defeat Alfonso Campos (R) in the general election.
Incumbent Precinct Four JP Raymond DeLeon will also seek re-election, facing Republican Mark George.
Watch future editions of the Lockhart Post-Register for more information on these candidates, and for information on Election 2010.