By Kathi Bliss
Abysmal voter turnout marked what was, arguably, a very important Primary Election for Caldwell County.
With issues hanging in the balance including the development of major subdivisions and business enterprises in Caldwell County during the next several years, fewer than 17 percent of Caldwell County’s 20,269 voters hit the polls during this election cycle to determine who will represent the County for the next four years.
While all local races in the Republican Party Primary were uncontested, 1,084 local voters cast their ballot in the Republican Party Primary, throwing overwhelming support behind incumbent Senator John Cornyn (57.92 percent) and Attorney General and Republican Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott (93.97 percent). Both Cornyn and Abbott won their statewide races, and will face Democratic Party candidates David M. Alameel and Wendy Davis, respectively.
It was the Democratic Party Primary that drew the lion’s share of local voters (2,309) as voters settled the questions of who will face Republican Party nominee Kenneth Schawe in November’s race for Caldwell County Judge, and who will be the County’s next District Attorney.
Fermin Islas emerged as the top vote-getter in his race against Paul Gomez and James “Jimmy” Bertram for his party’s nomination for the Judge’s seat.
Islas pulled in 997 votes (46.2 percent), and will face one of his two opponents in a runoff later this spring. However, only a handful of votes separate Gomez (585 votes, 27.1 percent) and Bertram (576 votes, 26.69 percent), and while it appears at first glance that Gomez will appear in the runoff, those results could change as provisional ballots are tallied. The “too-close-to-call” second place race will be settled as the final vote tallies are canvassed by the Commissioners Court later this month.
The race for Caldwell County District Attorney was settled at the Primary level, as the Republican Party will not field a candidate in November.
Fred Weber, currently the First Assistant District Attorney in Hays County, handily defeated Lockhart city councilmember and former Federal prosecutor Richard Banks in the race to replace outgoing District Attorney Trey Hicks next year.
Weber pulled in 67.2 percent of voter support (1,475 votes), to Banks’ 32.8 percent (720 votes).
In Caldwell County Commissioner Precinct Two, a four-way race was settled to determine who will face incumbent Republican Fred Buchholtz in November.
Eddie Moses escaped a runoff in the race, bringing in 435 votes (64.44 percent) to defeat Susan K. Stewart (108 votes, 16 percent), Chuck Cutshall (92 votes, 13.63 percent), and OJ Wade (40 votes, 5.93 percent). November’s race will be the second time Moses and Buchholtz square off. Buchholtz won his seat in 2010 when he defeated Moses 1,181-1,019.
The Post-Register will continue to work with Elections Administrator Pamela Ohlendorf and her staff to provide information about the runoff in the race for Caldwell County Judge as those details become available. Watch www.post-register.com, or watch us on Facebook for the emerging story.