Schawe clinches top County seat
By LPR Staff
More than a year of waiting finally came to a close in the early hours of Wednesday morning, as the Caldwell County Elections Office released the results of Tuesday’s General Election. Those results could substantially change the face of Caldwell County for the next four years.
Kenneth Schawe, th
e Republican nominee for Caldwell County Judge earned 4,590 votes (52.39 percent), over Islas’ 4,172 (47.61). Box-by-box tallies were not available at press time, and it is unclear whether any particular area of the county sealed the race for Schawe. However, when early voting totals were released on Tuesday evening, they showed Schawe with a clear-cut 2,147-1,993 lead.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Fred Buchholtz was ousted from his seat by challenger Eddie Moses, who Buchholtz had defeated to earn the seat in 2010. Moses garnered 1,299 votes (53.68 percent) over Buchholtz’s 1,121 (46.32 percent).
Democrat Commissioner Joe Roland deftly kept his seat, soundly defeating Republican Darrell Scott 1,334-628.
On a Commissioners Court that has been plagued by votes split down party lines, Schawe will be the sole Republican at the dais, come January. Commissioners Neto Madrigal and Alfredo Munoz will both face reelection bids in 2016.
Voter turnout made it clear that Caldwell County residents took a great deal of interest in this election, whether for local or statewide reasons. Of 21,229 registered voters, a banner 8,992 ballots were cast, amassing a 42.36 percent voter turnout.
Historically, Caldwell County’s voter turnout tends to hover below 20 percent.
In other county races, Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Matt Kiely will remain on the bench, having defeated Democratic Party challenger Rhoda Chavira by a relatively wide margin. Kiely earned 1,717 votes (61.99 percent) over Chavira’s 1,053 (38.01).
Democrat Homer Horne will also remain in his seat, earning 54.99 percent of voter support in Precinct 2 (1,322 votes) over Republican Patricia Oringderff’s 1,082 (45.01).
Former Justice of the Peace Mary Alice Llanas was defeated in her bid to regain the Precinct 3 seat, which will be vacated by Alfonso Campos at the end of his term. Llanas earned 750 votes (47.08 percent). Political newcomer Ben E. Brady won the chair with 52.92 percent voter support (843 votes).
Democrat Raymond DeLeon, the incumbent Justice of the Peace for Precinct 4, kept his seat as well, handily defeating challenger David LaPointe with 1,192 votes (60.85 percent) over LaPointe’s 767 (39.15 percent).
Though a complete analysis of voting results was not available at press time, it appears that straight-ticket voting did not show a major impact on county results, as it has in previous mid-term elections. Overall, 49.89 percent of straight-ticket votes cast (1,645) were for the Democratic Party, while 1,571 (47.65 percent) went to the Republican side. Only 22 voters voted straight-ticket Green Party, while 59 chose straight-ticket Libertarian.
Despite holding a narrow lead after early voting, local banker Ken Doran was defeated in his bid to become the District 11 Director for the Edwards Aquifer Authority. After results from Hays and Caldwell Counties were combined in the race, Amy Lea S.J. Akers took the race by more than 800 votes.
Difficulties with tallying votes at the Central Counting Station, including problems with the dampness in the air causing a lag in ballot processing, delayed results well past midnight, with the final preliminary numbers finally becoming available just after 2 a.m. It was unclear at press time, however, whether those complications will cause changes to the vote tallies prior to canvassing next week.
Follow the post-register online at www.post-register.com for more details as they become available.