Early voting continues in Caldwell County
By Wesley Gardner
Early voting for the July 14 runoff election to finalize which Democratic and Republican primary candidates will be on the ballot for the November general election is underway.
Early voting will be available through July 10.
While no local contests were needed to determine each party’s candidates, there are few state and federal items on that ballot that affect Caldwell County.
For the Democratic party, Mary “MJ” Hegar is facing off against Royce West to determine who will run against incumbent U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in November.
On the Republican side, “Guillermo” William Hayward is pitted against Jenny Garcia Sharon to see who will face incumber U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-35).
At the state level, Chrysta Castaneda is running against Robert R. “Beto” Alonzo for the right to challenge republican candidate James Wright in November.
Lani Popp will face Robert Morrow to determine who will challenge incumbent democratic Rebecca Bell-Metereau for the State Board of Education District 5 seat.
Candidates for of the local elections were decided in March.
The most heavily contested race in Caldwell County was also the closest, with Mike Lane edging Ray Chandler by a margin of 1,587 votes to 1,546 to nab the Republican nomination for sheriff, according to unofficial results. Lane will face off in November against Democratic challenger Hector Rangel, who defeated Alberto Luna 1,558-1,275 in Tuesday’s primary.
Only one constable position was contested in this year’s race, with incumbent Precinct 2 Constable Tom Will overtaking Jeffrey Alexander 726-400 for the Republican nomination. Because there were no challengers for the Democratic nomination, Will is set to automatically retain his position in November.
Incumbent Precinct 1 Constable Victor “Smitty” Terrell, incumbent Precinct 3 Constable Michael Bell and incumbent Precinct 4 Constable Arthur Villareal each ran unopposed and thus will also retain their positions come November.
Incumbent Caldwell County Tax Assessor-Collector Darla Law ran unopposed for the Democrat’s nomination, leaving her to face off against GOP challenger Debbie Cortez Sanders, who ran unopposed for the Republican nomination.
There will only be one contested race for a seat on the Caldwell County Commissioners Court in November. Incumbent Republican B.J. Westmoreland, who ran unopposed for his party, will take on Democratic challenger James “Jimmy” Bertram, who also ran unopposed, for the precinct 1 commissioner position.
Republican incumbent Precinct 3 Commissioner Edward “Ed” Theriot didn’t have any challengers on either side of the aisle, so he will automatically retain his position on the commissioners court.
Several Lockhart elections will also be decided in November. Four residents have requested applications to challenge Mayor Lew White, including former city councilmember John Castillo, Chris Nayla, Juan Alvarez Jr., and Andrew Cardenas.
District 3 Councilmember Kara McGregor and District 4 Councilmember Jeffry Michelson have also requested applications to be placed on the November ballot, though they have no potential challengers at this time.