Joint election to bring big changes locally, statewide
By LPR Staff
While pundits across the nation are weighing the possible consequences of a shift in power as a result of Tuesday’s mid-term General Election, local residents find themselves wondering how shifts in local leadership will impact the future of Lockhart, Caldwell County and the Lockhart Independent Sch
Caldwell County’s top spot will shift at the first of the year, as County Judge Tom D. Bonn has chosen not to seek reelection. He will be replaced either by Democratic nominee Fermin Islas, or Republican Kenneth Schawe.
Both Islas and Schawe have been on the campaign trail for more than a year, expressing very different images for the future of the county.
Also on the Commissioners Court, longtime Commissioner Joe Roland is seeking another term, being challenged by political newcomer Darrell Scott, and Fred Buchholtz is being challenged by Edward “Eddie” Moses.
As the Lockhart Independent School District moves forward with plans for sweeping renovations and construction of a new elementary school, Board President Rick Womble has declined a bid for re-election, guaranteeing that a new leader will take the helm at LISD, as well.
At-large trustees Juan Alvarez and Tom Guyton have both chosen to seek re-election and will face four potentially new faces – Steve Johnson, Bridgette Hayter DelaCruz, William “Michael” Wright and Dr. Oscar Garcia.
Lockhart ISD has what some consider a confusing system for voting in the at-large elections. Because three positions are available, each voter can cast up to three votes. However, if the voters choose, they may vote for three separate candidates, vote for one candidate three times, or distribute their votes in any other way. The three candidates with the highest vote count will take office in the three at-large positions.
In Lockhart, the shift may be less dramatic, but important nonetheless.
Lockhart voters will be choosing leadership for the Lockhart City Council, as incumbent Mayor Lew White faces a challenge from local businessman Homer “Papa” Shaw.
District 3 Councilmember Benny Hilburn is unopposed, and three candidates, business owners Jeffry Michelson and Connie Amaya, and real estate agent Janet Tiemann vie for the District 4 seat vacated by Richard Banks’ resignation earlier this year.
The Edwards Aquifer Authority is also seeking new leadership, as the Director for District 11, including the western portion of Caldwell County, will appear on the ballot.
Incumbent Peggy Jones has chosen to step down, leaving to fill her shoes either San Marcos businesswoman Amy Akers, former EEA trustee Mark Taylor, or Lockhart banker Ken Doran.
Additionally, voters are being asked to decide on another amendment to the Texas Constitution, this one addressing “providing for the use and dedication of certain money transferred to the state highway fund to assist in the completion of transportation construction, maintenance, and rehabilitation projects, not to include toll roads.”
The amendment, introduced by the 83rd Texas Legislature, would require the Comptroller to allocate up to half of the amount of oil and gas production tax revenue that is currently allocated to the economic stabilization fund instead to the highway system.
In effect, if passed, the amendment will cause the State Comptroller to divert money from the state’s “rainy day fund,” and instead allocate it to the state highway fund for construction, maintenance and right-of-way acquisition for public roads, excluding toll roads.
Voters in District 27, which includes the southern portions of Caldwell County, and half of Lockhart, will be asked to choose between Republican incumbent Blake Farenthold, and Democratic challenger Wesley Reed, a military-trained commercial pilot, and Libertarian Roxanne Simpson.
On the other side of Caldwell County, Democrat incumbent Lloyd Doggett will defend his seat as the District 35 US Representative against former San Marcos Mayor, Republican Susan Narvaiz, Libertarian Cory W. Bruner, and Green Party candidate Kat Swift.
Republican Senator John Cornyn has also asked the voters to send him back to Washington, D.C. The six-term Senator will face a four-way battle against Democrat David M. Alameel, a dentist and former candidate for the 33rd District in the Texas House, as well as Libertarian Rebecca Paddock and Green Party candidate Emily “Spicybrown” Sanchez.
The race between Attorney General Greg Abbott and Democratic State Senator Wendy R. Davis has been heating up for months. The pair are seeking the office of the Governor against Libertarian Kathie Glass and Green Party candidate Brandon Parmer.
Republican Dan Patrick, who unseated incumbent Lt. Governor David Dewhurst in the Primary election, will face Democratic State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, of San Antonio, as well as Libertarian Robert D. Butler, and Green Party candidate Chandrakantha Courtney.
The seat having been vacated by Abbott’s run for Governor, Republican State Senator Ken Paxton and Democrat Sam Houston, an attorney in Harris County, will square off with Libertarian Jamie Balagia, an Austin attorney, and Green Party nominee Jamar Osborne for the chance to be Abbott’s replacement as Attorney General.
Current State Senator Glenn Hegar, a Republican, has chosen to step away from the Senate and run for Comptroller of Public Accounts. He will face Democrat and former Exxon executive Mike Collier, as well as Libertarian Ben Sanders and Green Party candidate Deb Shafto.
Incumbent Republican Tim Kleinschmidt will face a challenge from Democrat and novelist Carolyn Banks for his seat in the Texas House of Representatives as the State Representative for District 17.
A sample ballot is available on Page 7A of this week’s Post-Register.
Local results of the Nov. 4, 2014, election will be posted on Election Night, as they become available. Follow the Post-Register on Facebook for the most up-to-the-moment information.