Hays County Election News

Eckhardt, Shea draw no challengers as local 2018 races come into focus

Eckhardt, Shea draw no challengers as local 2018 races come into focus

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt, Commissioner Brigid Shea and a handful of other county officials essentially clinched new terms this week after no one filed to run against them in the 2018 elections. District Clerk Velva Price, County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir and County Treasurer Dolores Ortega Carter also drew no challengers before the filing deadline passed Monday evening. “It’s been...

Community election news: Lago Vista gets new mayor, 2 council members

TRAVIS COUNTY LAGO VISTA New mayor, council members elected Lago Vista voters ousted two City Council incumbents Tuesday. Retired Coca-Cola sales executive David Williams unseated Council Member Mark Tippetts in Place 1 with 67 percent of the vote. Dick Weatherly, who worked as director of obstetrical anesthesia at a hospital before retiring, defeated Place 5 Council Member Stephanie Smith with 64...
FINAL: Two incumbents put away challengers in San Marcos council races

FINAL: Two incumbents put away challengers in San Marcos council races

The two incumbent members of the San Marcos City Council running for re-election have held on to their seats, according to final results. Place 3 Council Member Ed Mihalkanin ended up with 65 percent of the vote, or 1,437 votes, beating out challenger Amy Stanfield by 675 votes. “Thank you, San Marcos! It is a honor to have your continued support,” Mihalkanin wrote on his Facebook page...
Buda voters reject fluoride, select two new City Council members

Buda voters reject fluoride, select two new City Council members

Buda residents ushered in big changes Tuesday night, voting against fluoridated water, filling a couple of City Council seats and adopting a switch to geographic-based council districts. Two-thirds of the voters in Tuesday’s election said Buda should not add fluoride to its water, rejecting a practice that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has heralded as one of the top...
Buda residents to choose three new City Council members

Buda residents to choose three new City Council members

With a fierce debate roaring on social media about two controversial charter amendment proposals in Buda — whether to fluoridate the city’s water and whether to adopt geographic districts for the City Council seats — the race for three new council members has been somewhat overshadowed. But after Tuesday’s election, half the members of City Council will have changed and a new...
Three Kyle City Council seats up for grabs in November election

Three Kyle City Council seats up for grabs in November election

The Kyle City Council will see heavy turnover next year, as residents vote for a new mayor and three council members in the election Tuesday. Residents will vote in a special election for someone to fill District 1 Council Member Travis Mitchell’s seat, after he stepped down to run for mayor. When long-serving council members David Wilson, of District 4, and Becky Selbera, of District 2, announced...
Four candidates vying to be mayor of Kyle

Four candidates vying to be mayor of Kyle

Kyle Mayor Todd Webster’s announcement this summer that he would not seek another term opened the door for a slate of four candidates, some new and some familiar to the public stage, to vie for his role. The contenders include Travis Mitchell, a business owner who since June 2016 has served as a City Council member for District 1; Nicole Romero-Piche, a teacher; Jaime Sanchez, a construction...
Trump’s rhetoric drawing full field of Democrats to congressional race

Trump’s rhetoric drawing full field of Democrats to congressional race

It’s not unusual for the election of a Republican president to bring a surge of Democrats seeking seats in the midterm elections. But Texas Democratic Party leaders say the latest outpouring of enthusiasm and often anger-fueled passion spurred by President Donald Trump’s election is unmatched. “I’ve been recruiting candidates in Texas for years, and I’ve never seen an...
A NEAR MISS: Kyle man discovers his land isn’t in Kyle after all

A NEAR MISS: Kyle man discovers his land isn’t in Kyle after all

Robert Rizo thought for more than four decades that his family’s home was in the city of Kyle. The family even had thousands of dollars in tax bills to prove it. It wasn’t until Rizo filed to run this summer for Kyle City Council, however, that officials told him his home address was just outside the city limits — meaning he’s not a Kyle resident, despite the fact that he and...
San Marcos election: Public safety, library bonds approved

San Marcos election: Public safety, library bonds approved

San Marcos residents have passed a $31.7 million bond package — the first in more than a decade — for public safety improvements and a library expansion, according to final unofficial returns from Saturday’s election. The $17.2 million bond for public safety improvements passed with 76 percent of the vote, while the $14.5 million library bond passed with 77 percent of the vote. Police...
FINAL: Two challengers, incumbent win Dripping Springs council races

FINAL: Two challengers, incumbent win Dripping Springs council races

10:23 p.m update: Challengers Taline Manassian, William Travis Crow and incumbent Bill Foulds clinched three Dripping Springs City Council seats Saturday. Manassian, an attorney, led with 24.45 percent. Foulds followed with 18.39 percent, and Crow got 18.16 percent. Other candidates included challenger Harrison Schultz, who had 16.76 percent. Charles Busbey earned 15.48 percent of the vote, and longtime...
Hays County approves two multi-million school bond packages

Hays County approves two multi-million school bond packages

UPDATE 10:15 p.m: Hays County residents approved two multi-million school bond packages in Saturday’s election. Both the Hays and San Marcos school districts sought bonds to fund facilities to accommodate their rapid growth. Taxpayers handily passed both bond packages, neither of which is expected to increase property tax rates. The Hays school district sought a $250 million bond package &mdash...
Hays ESD 6 voters favor quarter-cent sales tax hike

Hays ESD 6 voters favor quarter-cent sales tax hike

Voters in unincorporated Hays County near Dripping Springs overwhelmingly approved a quarter-cent sales tax increase to fund a new fire station and other equipment, according to unofficial final election results. The measure was approved with 71 percent of the vote in the Hays County Emergency Services District No. 6 jurisdiction — about 35,000 voters live within the roughly 244 square-mile...
Steve Thurber, Allison Davis win Wimberley City Council races

Steve Thurber, Allison Davis win Wimberley City Council races

Wimberley City Council candidates Steve Thurber, former Wimberley mayor, and Allison Davis have won seats, according to unofficial final voting results. Thurber, running for a Place 1 seat, ended up with 59 percent of the vote over Sally Trapp, interior designer and currently a council member in Place 3. Davis, a licensed professional counselor running for the Place 3 seat, ended up with 61 percent...
FINAL RESULTS: San Marcos voters approve public safey, library bonds

FINAL RESULTS: San Marcos voters approve public safey, library bonds

San Marcos residents have passed a $31.7 million bond package — the first in more than a decade — for public safety improvements and a library expansion, according to final unofficial returns from Saturday’s election. The $17.2 million bond for public safety improvements passed with 76 percent of the vote, while the $14.5 million library bond passed with 77 percent of the vote. Police...
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...
Wastewater treatment leading issue in Wimberley City Council elections

Wastewater treatment leading issue in Wimberley City Council elections

Now that Wimberley is at the precipice of dealing with wastewater treatment, an issue that has for more than a decade plagued the Hill Country town, it has again emerged as a leading issue in upcoming City Council elections. Two City Council seats are up for grabs in the May 6 election: Place 1, which pits former mayor and council member Steve Thurber against Sally Trapp, currently a council...
Six vying for three Dripping Springs City Council positions

Six vying for three Dripping Springs City Council positions

A half-dozen candidates — three incumbents and three challengers — are vying for three Dripping Springs City Council at-large positions. As the city grapples with issues of rapid growth, all of the candidates say that tackling those growing pains will be among the greatest challenges for the next council. According to Census Bureau figures, the city’s population increased from 1...
Seven candidates seek Hays school trustee positions

Seven candidates seek Hays school trustee positions

Hays school district voters in May will not only decide on the largest school bond package in the history of the school district totaling $250 million for new campuses and upgrades, but they’ll also vote on three positions on the board of trustees who will lead a rapidly growing district. Seven candidates are seeking spots for a District 1, District 2 and an at-large trustee position. READ:...
Hays ESD No. 6 asking for sales tax hike for new station, equipment

Hays ESD No. 6 asking for sales tax hike for new station, equipment

A quarter-cent sales tax increase that the Hays County Emergency Services District No. 6 would use to fund a new fire station and other equipment will go before voters in the May 6 election. The emergency service district is based in Dripping Springs, but the tax would be levied only in areas outside city limits that haven’t reached the maximum sales tax allowed. That means just the 35,000 or...
Lost ballots in Hays County drive calls for change

Lost ballots in Hays County drive calls for change

Hays County elections administrator Jennifer Anderson would like to move on from the Nov. 8 error in which more than 1,800 votes were not tallied, but some county residents still have concerns. Though that issue was not on the agenda for an elections commission meeting Thursday morning, at least half a dozen people came to speak about it. The elections commission rarely convenes, but Anderson called...
Why 1,816 ballots in Hays County went uncounted last November

Why 1,816 ballots in Hays County went uncounted last November

A data storage device containing 1,816 votes in Hays County wasn’t counted in last November’s general election as a result of a “preventable human error,” the county’s new elections administrator announced this week. Jennifer Anderson, who became the county’s elections administrator on Jan. 1, said an internal investigation showed that the device, similar to a memory...
Thomaides, Mihalkanin, Gonzales win San Marcos council elections

Thomaides, Mihalkanin, Gonzales win San Marcos council elections

Council Member John Thomaides narrowly won the San Marcos mayor’s race in Tuesday’s runoff with a 42-vote margin of victory over business owner Ruben Becerra, according to the final but unofficial count. “It’s obviously very gratifying,” Thomaides said about his win with 50.62 percent of the vote, or 1,727 votes. “It’s been such a long, long election season...
Urbanovsky defeats Hatch in Buda City Council race

Urbanovsky defeats Hatch in Buda City Council race

Project manager Lee Urbanovsky won a seat on the Buda City Council on Tuesday night, earning 61 percent of the vote over petition consultant John Hatch’s 39 percent, according to unofficial final election results before canvassing. The seat was vacated by Place 1 Council Member Angela Kennedy, who decided not to seek another term. The race went to a runoff after no one clinched a majority in...
By the numbers: Tuesday’s runoff elections in Central Texas

By the numbers: Tuesday’s runoff elections in Central Texas

Tuesday is election day for a handful of runoffs from last month’s general election. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the runoffs in Central Texas: 5 — Percent turnout expected in Travis County, compared with 65 percent turnout for the November general election. 3 — Seats that will be decided on the San Marcos City Council: mayor (Ruben Becerra vs. John Thomaides) and two City...

Travis, Hays see low turnouts in early voting for runoff elections

One month after a record-setting, high-turnout general election, only about 2 percent of Travis and Hays counties’ registered voters participated in early voting for runoff elections, perhaps due to cold weather and voter fatigue, election officials said. But the nippy weather didn’t stop 32-year-old San Marcos resident Aniekan Umobong from leaving work at UPS early to cast his ballot...
What you need to know as early voting begins in the Dec. 13 runoffs

What you need to know as early voting begins in the Dec. 13 runoffs

We haven’t seen the last of the 2016 elections. Early voting begins Thursday and runs through Dec. 9 for the Dec. 13 runoff, featuring several local races in which no one won a majority of the vote Nov. 8. What you need to know about the year’s final election: What’s on the ballot: Most Central Texas voters get to pick two board members for Austin Community College: Michael J. Lewis...

San Marcos High football stadium tops list of bond projects

There are no Friday Night Lights for the San Marcos High Rattlers, who hold their varsity football games on weeknights at the Texas State University stadium. That could change as early as next year if voters approve an $18.4 million school bond proposition in May. “We could never say we had the home field advantage because we never had a home field,” said Pastor Mark Newton, co-chair of...

Mixed voter turnout for Hays County elections

By about noon on Saturday, about 450 people had voted in the San Marcos school district’s election, weighing in on whether to fund a football stadium and who should sit on the school board, said Joyce Cowan, Hays County’s elections administrator. About 1,600 registered voters cast an early ballot in that election. But in the election for Hays County’s emergency services district...

Voters approve $25.4 million Wimberley school bond package

With all votes counted, a $25.4 million school bond package has passed, 981 to 740, according to results posted on the Hays County elections website. Early voters heavily favored a $25.4 million school bond package proposal. The measure led with 703 in favor and 474 against. With polls now closed, voters are awaiting the fate of a wide-ranging $25.4 million school bond package proposal. The bond package...

Voters approve San Marcos school bond package

With all votes counted, both propositions in the school district’s $77 million bond package won approval Saturday. Proposition 1 passed, 1,689 to 1,187. Proposition 2 won by a narrower margin, 1,498 to 1,384. Earlier: 8:32 p.m. In early voting, Proposition 1, a $58.6 million proposal, had 1,039 votes in favor and 609 against. Proposition 2 had 920 votes in favor and 734 against. With early votes...

$36 million Kyle road bond passes; City Council runoff declared

Kyle voters overwhelmingly approved a $36 million road bond in Saturday’s election and two candidates are headed for a runoff in one City Council race. The proposed $36 million road bond passed with 70 percent of 803 votes. The road bond will be used to fix, expand or extend five of the city’s major roadways: Bunton Creek Road, North Burleson Street, Goforth Road and Lehman Road will be...

Buda candidates have different ideas on growth

The population in Buda has exploded from 2,400 people in 2000 to more than 9,000 today, bringing traffic congestion and water supply issues to the city’s doorstep. The candidates for the two City Council seats on the Nov. 5 ballot differ on how the city should solve those problems and how it should continue to grow. Angela Kennedy, who is running for the seat held by retiring council member...

Five vie for two seats on San Marcos City Council

San Marcos is one of the fastest-growing cities of its size in the country, and leaders are looking to balance growth with protection of the existing neighborhoods and the environment. The five candidates vying for two City Council seats in the Nov. 5 election all have ideas on how to do that. Lisa Prewitt has run a landscaping business for 17 years in San Marcos. She got involved in city politics...

Voter ID rollout smooth, despite complaints about women being turned away

Democrats — nationally and in Texas — have been trying to gain political traction by saying that Texas’ new voter identification law is hurting women, but election officials in Central Texas say the law isn’t proving to be much of a problem. The Texas Democratic Party said in an email that “Texans throughout the state – particularly women voters – are running...

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...

Most polls close in Texas’ first photo ID-required election

Polls are closed around most of Texas, with El Paso in the Mountain Time Zone having an extra hour, and election workers are tallying the final votes in the state’s first photo ID-required race. Results will come in the next few hours for races that include a highly-publicized state constitutional amendment to create a $2 billion water project fund and a $65 million Austin affordable housing...

Prewitt, Prather win seats on San Marcos council

Update 9:45 p.m.: Lisa Prewitt and council member Jude Prather have won seats on the San Marcos City Council, according to final results from the Hays County Elections Administration. Prewitt and Prather both held on to early leads throughout the night. Prewitt took 76 percent of the vote against challenger Bill Taylor. Prather received 69 percent of the vote, while opponent Mason Murphy received...

Voter ID law poses few problems in its statewide rollout

Texas’ new voter identification requirements presented little trouble during their first statewide test on Tuesday, state and local election officials said. The 2011 law, which was held up by years of legal wrangling, requires voters to present a valid photo ID, such as a driver’s license, military ID, passport, concealed handgun license or state-issued election identification certificate...

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.

Andy Brown outpaces Sarah Eckhardt in Travis County judge race fundraising

The two Democrats vying for Travis County Judge raised nearly half a million dollars combined in the past six months, with Andy Brown outpacing Sarah Eckhardt by more than $100,000. A pair of commissioner races also attracted hefty fundraising totals in one of the mostly hotly contested elections for seats on the Travis County Commissioners Court in recent years. The latest filings, due Wednesday...
Two challengers call for change at Hays County District Attorney’s Office

Two challengers call for change at Hays County District Attorney’s Office

Wes Mau and Lynn Peach each got a look at the inner workings of the Hays County District Attorney’s Office, and they agree things need to change. They differ on who’s the best person to lead the way. The two veteran prosecutors, who worked for the DA’s office at different times, will face off in the March 4 Republican primary to become Hays County’s top prosecutor. With no...

Dripping Springs district pitches $92 million bond proposal for new schools, technology

The Dripping Springs school board is working on a bond proposal that could include more than $90 million to build two new schools, add new sports fields and update technology across the district. The district, which has more than 4,700 students, continues to grow at a rate of about 7 percent annually, and officials expect three schools to hit or break their capacity by next school year. The bulk of...

Five San Marcos schools set to be renovated over the summer with bond funds

By the time school starts again next year, some San Marcos students could have class in renovated schools, and Friday night lights could shine on a brand new football stadium. The school board is set to award construction contracts Monday to kick off the renovations at three elementary and two middle schools this summer, the latest work to get underway in the districts $77 million bond package approved...
Hays County justice of the peace seat draws two GOP challengers

Hays County justice of the peace seat draws two GOP challengers

Two Republicans are facing off in the March 4 primary for the chance to take on Justice of the Peace Margie Hernandez, a Democrat. Peggy Jones and Judy Ann Seim are vying for the GOP nomination in the justice of the peace race for Precinct 1, Place 2, covering the southeastern portion of Hays County. The winner will face Hernandez in November. Justices sign arrest warrants, set bond amounts, rule...

Will Wimberley residents give up property tax break for road repairs?

Wimberley residents, who have enjoyed the past 14 years without a city property tax, will decide this spring whether to give that up in favor of refinished roads. The Wimberley City Council recently voted 4-1 to put a $2.85 million bond package on the May 10 ballot. If approved, it would be the city’s first bond for improvements to a road system that has seen better days. “We inherited...

Wes Mau wins GOP primary for Hays district attorney

Update 10:30 p.m.: Wes Mau has won the Republican primary for Hays County District Attorney. With all precincts reporting, Mau took 58.3 percent of the vote, with 4,594 votes. His opponent, Lynn Peach, took 41.7 percent of the vote, with 3,285 votes. “I’m very happy and grateful to everyone that helped me get this far,” Mau said shortly after the final returns came in. “I&rsquo...

Peggy Jones wins GOP primary for Hays justice of the peace

Update 10:30 p.m.: Peggy Jones has won the Republican primary for Hays County Justice of the Peace in precinct 1, place 2. With all precincts reporting in, Jones took 62.5 percent to the vote, with 1,022 votes. Her opponent, Judy Ann Seim, took 37.5 percent of the vote, with 613 votes. Jones will take on Democratic incumbent Margie Hernandez in November. Update 9:45 p.m.: Peggy Jones continues to...
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