Banner turnout marks election
By LPR Staff
It was a long night for Caldwell County’s politically-minded.
Much like on the National front, it was a long wait for results in Caldwell County on Tuesday night. As like the Nation, when the dust settled, results in local races leaned, overwhelmingly, to the Right. In some cases, those results
also favored a change in leadership.
Overall, nearly 12,000 voters cast ballots in this historic election cycle. A whopping 11,962 of Caldwell County’s 22,650 registered voters participated in the process, a jump from the previous record of 11,648 in 2008, when Barack Obama became the United States’ first African-American President; this election was equally historic, as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stood to become the nation’s first female President.
At the top of the local ticket, more than 11,000 voters made their voices heard in the choice for the 421st District Judge’s race. The seat was created by then-Governor George W. Bush and has been occupied since its creation by Judge Todd A. Blomerth, who earlier this year announced his decision to retire.
Former Caldwell County District Attorney Chris Schneider, running as a Republican, strongly bested Austin-based attorney Andi St. Leger (D), earning 6,477 votes (56.29 percent) over her 5,030 (42.71 percent).
Despite a long and comprehensive campaign against him, Democratic Sheriff Daniel C. Law was able to once again defend his seat.
Law amassed 6,241 votes (53.42 percent) over Republican challenger Ray Chandler, who earned 5,442.
Chandler took to social media in the early hours of Wednesday morning to congratulate Law and thank the supporters who have been bolstering his campaign for nearly two years.
“I gave it my all,” he said. “The community didn’t want a change in their law enforcement leadership. I respect that and wish you the very best.”
In what appeared to be a “companion” race, incumbent Tax Assessor Collector Darla Law won reelection over Republican Challenger Debbie Cortez Sanders, with similar numbers.
Law took 52.95 percent of the vote (6,128) over Sanders’ 5,442. As a couple, the Laws were thought by many to be campaigning in tandem. Similarly, Chandler and Sanders appeared to join forces early in the campaign.
A big shakeup took place in the Caldwell County Commissioner’s Court as two Democratic incumbents were displaced from office by Republican challengers.
In the race for the Precinct One seat, Hopkins “Hoppy” Haden drew widespread support, earning 56.51 percent of the vote (1,926) over incumbent Alfredo Munoz (1,482).
It was a closer race for Precinct Three, as Republican Ed Theriot earned 1,209 votes (52.59 percent) over incumbent Neto Madrigal (1,090).
Throughout the race, speculation ran rampant that their insistence in participation in a contested case hearing and their refusal to consider negotiating a host agreement with Green Group Holdings, a Georgia-based conglomerate attempting to build a landfill in rural Caldwell County would impact the two commissioners in their bid for reelection.
In Precinct Two, longtime Constable Richard Callihan faced an ouster from his Republican challenger Tom Will. Will crossed the finish line with 1,565 votes (51.14 percent), while Callihan earned only 1,495 (48.86 percent).
Appointed Constable Michael J. Bell (D) narrowly escaped replacement. Bell, who was appointed by the Caldwell County Commissioners Court to fill the vacancy of Precinct Three Constable after the death of Margarito “Junior” Zapata (when), earned 50.18 percent of the votes in his race (1,135). His challenger, John Telles drew 1,127 votes (49.82 percent). Results are unofficial until they are canvassed, and it is unclear whether mail-in, provisional and partial ballots might be sufficient to swing that race, or whether Telles will ask for a recount.
According to the Secretary of State, a recount must be requested within five days.
See a breakdown of local results in races of interested on Page 10A of today’s Post-Register.