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Bastrop County Election News

Polls open on Election Day for many cities in Austin area

Polls open on Election Day for many cities in Austin area

Today is Election Day, with municipal elections across Central Texas. Some notable elections to watch: Round Rock school bonds While the bonds have the support of the city of Round Rock and the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce, critics say the cost of paying back the debt to businesses and residents is prohibitive. The $572.1 million bond package is split into three propositions: • Proposition...
Bonds will help local school districts with growth

Bonds will help local school districts with growth

Saturday is Election Day for several Central Texas school districts and cities. Though the date may have escaped the minds of many, as is often the case in nonpresidential elections, it is an important one with important local issues on the ballots. They range from selecting the next mayor to deciding on school bonds and choosing local school board members. As Central Texas continues to grow, more...

Two open school board seats in Bastrop draw four candidates

Four candidates are vying for two open school board seats in the Bastrop school district, which was recently the subject of an investigation into alleged racial discrimination by the U.S. Department of Education. Two of those candidates — Matthew Mix and Ashley Mutschink — sided with the superintendent, saying the school district has worked to handle any potential discrimination issues...
Bastrop challenger’s attempt to withdraw makes for awkward campaign

Bastrop challenger’s attempt to withdraw makes for awkward campaign

Bastrop City Council incumbent Ken Kesselus is seeking re-election, but it’s unclear if his opponent,    Vanessa Leigh Webster, is serious about challenging him. City officials say Webster filed to run for office March 1 and later tried to withdraw from the race, but she missed the March 4 deadline to withdraw, so her name is still on the ballot. The election is Saturday. Bastrop...

Counties see increased early voting turnouts

An increase in some early voting numbers in Central Texas might mean a bigger turnout on election day compared with other similar elections, officials said. The 15 most-populated counties in Texas which include Travis and Williamson counties also saw an increase in early voting. The turnout could be driven by various factors, including the race in Travis County to fill a vacant seat in State Representative...

Voters in Bastrop County approve adding Paige to ESD No. 2

Update, 10:10 p.m.: Final unofficials results are in: Voters have approved a proposal to push the area served by the Paige Volunteer Fire Department into Bastrop County’s Emergency Services District No. 2. The change will provide a new stream of property tax revenue to help cover the department’s costs. The two propositions on the ballot that made up the proposal won a combined 612 votes...

ELECTION ROUNDUP: Spicewood voters approve taxing district for fire department; runoff ahead for Leander council seat

BEE CAVE Roads tax earns approval A measure to continue charging a 1/8-cent sales tax to repair and maintain roads in Bee Cave was approved with a wide margin of support. State law requires cities to give voters a choice in renewing the tax every four years. Last fiscal year, the tax brought in about $474,107 for numerous road improvement projects. BUDA Husband, wife lose bids for council seats The...

Travis, Williamson county races draw challengers

The 2014 election season promises the first competition in recent memory for key Travis and Williamson County offices that have been held by the same person going on eight years or more.

Bastrop Clerk Sarah Loucks sews up reelection bid

Update 9:30 p.m.: With all Bastrop County precincts reporting, District Clerk Sarah Loucks clinched her second term with 62.43 percent of the vote. Her opponent in the Republican primary, Leigh E. Raemsch, received 37.57 percent of the vote. There was no Democratic challenger in the race. Update 9 p.m.: Bastrop District Clerk Sarah Loucks continues to lead with 62.87 percent of the votes so far, with...

Dolores Ortega Carter leading for Travis County treasurer; Jerri Jones on way to be new Williamson County treasurer

Travis County Treasurer Dolores Ortega Carter leads her Democratic primary rival despite the challenger’s steep fund-raising advantage. With more than two-thirds of the ballots counted, Ortega Carter was ahead of Austin lawyer Ramey Ko, who outspent the Ortega Carter 23 to 1. The winner will face Libertarian Mike Burris in November. The treasurer collects and distributes all county money, including...

6 candidates seek ACC board’s Place 2 seat

Austin Community College will see at least one new board member after the Nov. 4 election as the college prepares for the outcome of the second bond election in its history. Six candidates are running for the Place 2 seat on the board, and although all come from different backgrounds and have said they can offer something unique, they all agree on the need to maintain financial stability amid cuts...

Early voting total in Travis County on par with 2010 early turnout

A last-minute surge of early voters headed to Travis County polls on Friday to mark up a long ballot with a marquee governor race, but that wasn’t enough to push total turnout above the usual level. Turnout during the two weeks of early voting, which typically makes up about half of the overall turnout in Travis County, was 22 percent of registered voters — the same as in the November...
As Hegar resigns, Dec. 6 special election called in Senate District 18

As Hegar resigns, Dec. 6 special election called in Senate District 18

Hours after receiving a resignation notice on Friday, Gov. Rick Perry scheduled a Dec. 6 special election to fill the state Senate seat being vacated by Glenn Hegar, the Katy Republican who was elected state comptroller earlier this month. Hegar, whose term as comptroller begins in January, notified Perry on Friday morning that he will resign his Senate seat effective Dec. 5. He has represented the...

Gigi Edwards Bryant wins Austin Community College board election

Gigi Edwards Bryant beat Jade Chang Sheppard for a spot on the Austin Community College board in a Tuesday runoff election. Bryant, 57, won 54 percent of the 58,037 votes cast in Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop and Lee counties. A board member for the ACC Foundation, which raises money for scholarships, Bryant has promised to do more to recruit more international students and to bring more attention...
Voters reject Bastrop school bond, Smithville school bond OK’d

Voters reject Bastrop school bond, Smithville school bond OK’d

Bastrop school district voters rejected a $75 million bond and tax increase Tuesday night, while voters in the Smithville school district approved a $35 million school bond, according to the final unofficial election results. Fifty-four percent (8,425) of Bastrop school voters rejected the bond, compared to 46 percent (7,190) who supported the measure. Sixty-four percent (9,820) of voters came out...
Early voting wraps up in Texas with record turnout

Early voting wraps up in Texas with record turnout

Record numbers of Texans have already cast their votes for the Nov. 8 election, including about half of the voters in Travis and Williamson counties. More than 4 million Texans — well over the 2008 early voting record of 3.5 million — had voted in the state’s 15 largest counties by the end of the day Thursday, according to the most recent data available from the Texas secretary of...
Record-breaking voter turnout continues in Travis County

Record-breaking voter turnout continues in Travis County

Unprecedented early voting turnout in Travis County showed no signs of slowing Thursday and, if it keeps up, could reach the total turnout rates for previous presidential races before Election Day even arrives, county elections director Michael Winn said. On Thursday alone, more than 20,000 people had voted by 3 p.m., and officials were expecting a late evening rush that would put numbers close to...

Four candidates vying for 2-year unexpired term on ACC board

A four-way race is underway to fill two years of an unexpired term on the Austin Community College Board of Trustees. A business development consultant, a political activist, the head of a Christian ministry and, in a twist, an ACC trustee who currently holds a different seat on the board are competing for Place 9. Allen Kaplan was elected to a six-year term on that seat in 2012 but announced in July...
Real estate executive, retired CEO competing for seat on ACC board

Real estate executive, retired CEO competing for seat on ACC board

A retired CEO of a nonprofit group and the director of a commercial real estate brokerage are competing to become one of the nine members of Austin Community College’s Board of Trustees. The prize in the race between Nora de Hoyos Comstock, the retired CEO, and Douglas Gibbins, the real estate professional, is Place 6. Guadalupe Sosa, who currently holds the seat, has decided to run instead...
Student, consultant, legislative aide vie for seat on ACC board

Student, consultant, legislative aide vie for seat on ACC board

A student, a management consultant and a legislative aide are vying for Place 5 on Austin Community College’s Board of Trustees. Victor H.P. Villarreal won the seat in 2010 and currently serves as chairman — elected to that position by fellow trustees — but is not running for the board again. Like all nine seats on ACC’s board, Place 5 is elected at large by voters in the college&rsquo...
Realtor, auditor, educator competing for ACC board seat

Realtor, auditor, educator competing for ACC board seat

A real estate agent, an auditor and the owner of a child care and early childhood education center are competing for Place 4 on Austin Community College’s Board of Trustees. Jeffrey K. Richard, who currently holds the seat, isn’t running for re-election after serving two six-year terms, including a stint as chairman. Like all nine seats on ACC’s board, Place 4 is elected at-large...

Ex-candidate demands more Bastrop County polling places in runoff

A Bastrop County resident who campaigned for a Texas House seat has accused a county judge of suppressing voters during the Jan. 6 special election. Linda Curtis, who ran as an independent for House District 17 and received 14 percent of the vote, has accused Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape of suppressing voters by consolidating the county’s 20 election day polling places into four locations...
ACC campus sparks renewal around half-vacant Highland Mall

ACC campus sparks renewal around half-vacant Highland Mall

On a summer afternoon, Highland Mall’s second floor is hot and stuffy, darkened storefronts lining the wide, tile corridor. A handful of customers leisurely pace around the few stores left, catching a faint whiff of stale grease when they pass the desolate food court. Most of the North Austin mall is a skeleton of the past, but a glimpse of its future beams just a few yards away. The first phase...
Bastrop deputy running for commissioner accused of drinking on duty

Bastrop deputy running for commissioner accused of drinking on duty

A Bastrop County sheriff’s deputy running for county commissioner was arrested Friday morning after he was found inside his patrol car with an open bottle of vodka and an empty bottle of prescription drugs while on duty, according to court records. Fred Ensinger, 43, was booked into Bastrop County Jail on a charge of driving while intoxicated with an open container of alcohol. His bail was set...

TOP LOCAL STORIES OF THE WEEK

MONDAY Vince Young, Longhorns legend, faces DWI charge: Austin police arrested former University of Texas quarterback Vince Young and charged him with driving while intoxicated, the American-Statesman reported Monday. According to an affidavit, Young was swerving within his lane on Interstate 35 on Jan. 24. Young told an officer he drank three or four bottles of beer at the W Hotel downtown. Since...

Central Texas election roundup

TRAVIS COUNTY LAKE TRAVIS SCHOOLS Dorsett joins board; Aoueille returns Incumbent school board member John Aoueille kept his Place 4 seat, with 69 percent of the vote against Ariel Axelrod for Place 4. Two newcomers ran in a special election for Place 7, with Bob Dorsett Jr. claiming 76 percent of the vote against Juan R. Gutierrez. Incumbent board members Alex Alexander and Kim Flasch ran unopposed...

TOP LOCAL STORIES OF THE WEEK

MONDAY Lee Elementary to be renamed for Russell instead of Robert E.: The Austin school board on Monday voted to rename Robert E. Lee Elementary, the first time the district has changed the name of a school because of its ties to the Confederacy. Russell Lee was a critically acclaimed Depression-era photographer and a founder of the University of Texas photography department. He also lived in the...
Republican Bastrop County commissioner primaries head to runoffs

Republican Bastrop County commissioner primaries head to runoffs

Both Bastrop County Precinct 1 and 3 commissioner GOP primary races will head to a runoff in May, after no single candidate clinched a majority in either contest. Incumbent Precinct 1 commissioner Willie Piña will face Melvin “Mel” Hamner in one runoff, while Colton Stabeno and Marc Mulkey will battle it out in the Precinct 3 race. Piña, 67, garnered 43 percent, or 1,247...
Henderson, Cook headed to GOP Bastrop County sheriff runoff

Henderson, Cook headed to GOP Bastrop County sheriff runoff

Matthew Henderson and Maurice Cook will go head to head in a runoff for the Republican nomination for Bastrop County sheriff this May, clearing a crowded field of candidates seeking the top cop spot. A total of eight Republicans faced off to succeed outgoing Sheriff Terry Pickering, who announced he would not seek a third term last May, a decision preceded by a $1.2 million settlement following an...
Bastrop County incumbent commissioner defeated in runoff

Bastrop County incumbent commissioner defeated in runoff

Incumbent Bastrop County Precinct 1 Commissioner Willie Piña lost his bid for re-election by 67 votes Tuesday night. In Bastrop County’s Precinct 3 commissioner race, Colton Stabeno got the Republican nod Tuesday night after defeating his opponent Marc Mulkey by more than 20 percent. Stabeno pulled in 472 votes (61.7 percent) and Mulkey received 293 votes (38.3 percent).
Maurice Cook narrowly wins GOP Bastrop sheriff’s nomination

Maurice Cook narrowly wins GOP Bastrop sheriff’s nomination

Maurice Cook narrowly clinched the Republican nomination for Bastrop County sheriff after pulling in 16 more votes than his opponent, Matt Henderson. Cook received 1,741 votes (50.23 percent), compared with Henderson’s 1,725 (49.77 percent) in Tuesday’s runoff election, according to the Bastrop County elections office. Cook held on to his early vote advantage and edged out Henderson for...

Bastrop County voters may qualify for ID exemption because of wildfire

Bastrop County voters they may qualify for an exemption to photo ID requirements when voting in the upcoming Nov. 3 elections if they are affected by recent fires, according to a press release from the Texas Secretary of State’s office. Early voting starts Monday. Since June of 2013, Texas residents have been required to show a photo ID when voting in person. But there is an exemption for voters...
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