Voters choose current leadership
At the closest levels of local government, Lockhart area voters seem to have expressed confidence in the current direction of local government.
In almost all cases down-ballot, voters chose to leave their incumbents in place, rather than change to a wide variety of new, but highly qualified opponents.
e Lockhart Independent School District Board of Trustees, two incumbents retained their seats, while one lost and one vacant seat was filled by a former Trustee.
Seated Board President Brenda Spillmann defended her seat in District Two against a challenge from political newcomer Miguel Islas, who announced his candidacy early this year as the District began undertaking considerable changes, including the opening of new campuses and the implementation of elementary zoning districts.
Voters expressed confidence in the way Spillmann’s leadership has navigated those changes, as she handily earned reelection with 757 votes (56.61 percent) over Islas’ 593.
Likewise, incumbent Carl M. Cisneros won a second term with 52.66 percent of the vote (593) over his challenger, a longtime teacher and community volunteer Beverly Salinas Anderson, who drew 533 votes in District One.
Incumbent Jon Reyes, bucking for a second term after his election in 2012, fell to political newcomer Warren Burnett, who earned 52.72 percent of the vote (883). Reyes drew 792 votes in defense of his seat.
The seat for District Three was vacated this summer by the resignation of Jessica Neyman. Former Trustee Rebecca Lockhart threw her hat into the ring against newcomer Bobby Herzog. In a race too close to call after Early Voting results were released, Lockhart earned 1,145 votes (52.23 percent) over Herzog’s 1,006 (46.77 percent) to secure her return to the Board.
City of Lockhart voters expressed their confidence in their leadership as well, as all four candidates vying for reelection on the ballot are likely to reclaim their seats.
In District One, two-term councilmember Juan Mendoza earned what many thought an unlikely victory over political long-timer Timoteo “Tim” Juarez, Jr., a former president of the LISD Board of Trustees who set his sights on the City Council.
Mendoza defended his seat for a third term with a 275-220 victory (55.56 percent) over Juarez.
The race in District Two may be within recount distance, with less than one point separating the candidates.
Election night returns reflect that incumbent councilmember John “Big John” Castillo earned 50.96 percent of the vote (372) over his challenger, Louis A. Cisneros, who pulled in 358 (49.72 percent). Because certain provisional and mail-in ballots are not included in the election night results, and the results remain unofficial until they are canvassed later this month, it is possible the results in this race could change. There was no word at press time as to whether the Cisneros camp could or would request a recount.
Incumbent At Large Councilmembers Angie Gonzales-Sanchez and Brad Westmoreland were virtually guaranteed reelection, as they were the only candidates to throw their hat for the two at large positions. Gonzales-Sanchez closed the night with 1,911 votes, while Westmoreland earned 1,890.
Votes in local races will be canvassed and made official later this month.