Hays County Election News

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...

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...
Growth and $59.1 million bond proposal shape school board races

Growth and $59.1 million bond proposal shape school board races

Growth is the buzzword in the races for three open seats on the Hays school board. Most of the seven candidates on the crowded ballot have similar goals: to continue to manage the fast-paced growth the district has long grappled with while keeping spending to a minimum. The candidates share the ballot with a $59.1 million bond proposal that is also an effort to handle the growth. “That (growth)...

Wimberley voters to decide on city’s first road bond

Wimberley residents who begin heading to the polls next week have a big decision ahead of them: whether to approve a $2.65 million bond for road repairs that would create the city’s first property tax. Incorporated 14 years ago, Wimberley is a fairly young city, but there comes a point when it’s time to make some hard choices, said City Administrator Don Ferguson. “We’ve done...

Three candidates for Wimberley mayor face big decisions as city grows

At 14 years old, Wimberley is a young city, but with the influx of development to Central Texas, the small town is poised to have to make some big city decisions about infrastructure and taxes. Of the three City Council members running for mayor in the May 10 election, Mac McCullough was the only one to speak in favor of the $2.8 million road bond to repair many of the city’s streets. Fellow...
Growth, parent engagement are top issues in school board election

Growth, parent engagement are top issues in school board election

Two political newcomers are facing off in the only contested election for the San Marcos school board. Naomi Narvaiz and Danny Gonzales are seeking the District 1 seat currently held by David Castillo, who is not seeking re-election. Incumbents Lupe Costilla and Margie Villalpando did not have any challengers for their seats. Located in one of the fastest growing areas of the country, the San Marcos...

Tenorio, Bryant, Tobias elected to Hays school board

9:20 p.m. update: With final election results in for the Hays school district, incumbents Willie Tenorio and Sandra Bryant will keep their board seats and Teresa Tobias won her race for an open seat on the board. Voters also approved the district’s $59.1 million bond proposition, with 1,368 votes in favor and 800 against. Tenorio won the Place 2 race against Miguel Zuniga with 69 percent of...

 Kyle: Webster ahead in mayor’s race; Selbera, Wilson lead council races

Update 9:25 p.m.: Todd Webster and Brad Pickett will head to a runoff election following the final results in Saturday’s mayoral election in Kyle. Webster took 44 percent of the votes and Pickett took 32, triggering a runoff election because neither received more than 50 percent. In the council race between incumbent Becky Selbera and Jaime Sanchez, only seven votes separate the two, which could...

Wimberley early voters oppose road bond, favor Steve Thurber for mayor

With early and absentee voting results in, Steve Thurber is leading the race for mayor of Wimberley. Thurber had 49 percent of the early votes, while Tom Talcott and Mac McCullough each had about 25 percent. The candidate with the most votes will take the seat. There will be no runoff elections. In the place 2 City Council race, Cindy Anderson was leading with 52 percent of the early and absentee...

Hays bond passes and incumbents retain their seats

A pair of incumbents fended off challengers in Saturday’s election for their Hays school board seats while voters also overwhelmingly backed Teresa Tobias as the new member to the open Place 1 post. With all of the ballots counted Saturday, Tobias defeated Jesse Espinoza with 69 percent of the vote for the Place 1 seat; incumbent Willie Tenorio won against Miguel Zuniga also with 69 percent...
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