County and city races won with relative ease
By Kyle Mooty
Lockhart Mayor Lew White won for the fifth consecutive time with little challenge, getting more than 73 percent of the votes, John Lairsen captured the Lockhart City Council District 3 post handily, garnering more than 63 percent, and both the Lockhart ISD Voter Approved Tax Ratification Election (almost 59 percent) and the creation of Caldwell County Emergency Services District No. 5 (almost 73 percent) won with little difficulty during Tuesday night’s General Election.
Only 19.4 percent of the 25,378 registered voters in Caldwell County casts ballots Tuesday.
The creation of the ESD No. 5 will provide emergency medical services in its district, likely to be in the Lytton Springs/Dale area. The passing of ESD No. 5 will allow Caldwell County to levy an ad valorem (property) tax of up to $0.10 per $100 of property valuation according to the Texas Constitution.
Since the contract for ambulance services expired on Sept. 30 with Seton Healthcare Family, voters had the option to decide if they wanted to pay for a new ESD District. The passage of the ESD No. 5 will mean quicker response times in the district.
Following the passage of the VATRE, Lockhart ISD posted on social media that it can now “move forward” with plans to provide 5.7 percent raises for all staff as well as enhance school security at each campus.
“Your commitment to our schools, our teachers, and, most importantly, our students, showcases the values that our community upholds — values that place our children at the forefront,” LISD posted.
John Lairsen won the race for Lockhart City Council, District 3, a post currently held by Kara McGregor. McGregor did not seek re-election.
Lairsen received 63.7 percent of the vote over former Lockhart High School and LISD PRIDE Principal Barry Bacom.
Lairsen is the former President of the Gaslight-Baker Theater, a former board member of the Hays Caldwell Women’s Center and the Lockhart Board of Adjustment, former Chair of the San Marcos Convention and Visitors Bureau, former co-chair for Relay for Life in Lockhart, and a former commission member of the Caldwell County Historic Commission. He was formerly the General Manager for the outlet center in San Marcos, retiring two years ago to start Historic Investment Properties.
Another Lockhart City Council post up for election was District 4, but incumbent Jeffry Michelson was unopposed.
White cruised to another three-year term as mayor with 74.43 percent of the vote, easily outdistancing challenger Juan Alvarez Jr., who has unsuccessfully challenged White in previous races.
White originally won in 2011, and has also been victorious in 2014, 2017, 2020, and this year. He received 1,426 votes (73.43 percent) to Alvarez’s 516 votes.
White, who has a local dental practice, had been on the Lockhart City Council from 1984-96, and again from 2006-2011.
Born and raised in Houston, White graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a BAS in Biology. He attended the University of Texas Dental School in Houston and graduated in 1980 with a DDS. He and his wife, Patti, have two sons.
White has served on the Caldwell County Child Welfare Board, the Caldwell County Industrial Foundation, the Lockhart Economic Development Foundation, Planning and Zoning Commission, the City Revolving Loan Fund, and the City Fireman’s Pension Board. He is currently on the Executive Committee for Capital Area Planning COG and on the Board of Trustees for the TX Health Benefits Pool.
The votes are unofficial until the Caldwell County Elections board canvasses the votes in the near future. There were 16 polling locations throughout Caldwell County from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
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Lew White, 1,426 — 73.43 percent
Juan Alvarez Jr., 516
Lockhart City Council, District 3
John Lairsen, 530 — 63.70 percent
Barry Bacom, 302
Lockhart ISD, A Tax Ratification Election
For, 2,121 – 58.88 percent
Confirmation of Caldwell County ESD 5
For, 3,497 – 72.64 percent