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Elections


George P. Bush: Coast-to-coast border wall ‘probably not feasible’

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush on Friday said President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border is “probably not feasible,” joining other Texas Republicans who have cast doubt on Trump’s signature campaign promise. “We need to have a strategic, methodical process to deal with illegal immigration and to work on enhancing legal immigration...


Three candidates seek Austin district board seat vacated by Saldaña

Three candidates seek Austin district board seat vacated by Saldaña

Three candidates are seeking appointment to the Austin school board seat vacated midterm by Paul Saldaña. Saldaña’s departure last month left the nine-member board without a Latino representative and with one minority trustee, Ted Gordon, who is black. Nearly 60 percent of the district’s more than 83,000 students are Latino, and multiple community leaders and local politicians...
Herman: Texas Democrats claim big wins in small races

Herman: Texas Democrats claim big wins in small races

After years and years of wandering in the political wilderness, Texas Democrats have found a way to win some races. The secret is simple: just don’t put Democrat next to their candidates’ names on the ballot. Sarcasm aside — and that’s not always easy when talking about long-losing and long-suffering Texas Democrats — kudos to the party for winning seven nonpartisan local...
Voters in fast-growing Hays County approve two school bond packages

Voters in fast-growing Hays County approve two school bond packages

Hays County residents approved several hundred million dollars in school upgrades with two bond packages in Saturday’s election. Both the Hays and San Marcos school districts sought bonds to pay for 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...
Voters reject $572 million in bonds for Round Rock schools

Voters reject $572 million in bonds for Round Rock schools

The defeat of the Round Rock school district’s $572 million bond package late Saturday sparked celebration among taxpayer activists — and hand-wringing among schools advocates who say the district is now in a difficult situation of having to address strategic goals with a lack of money. Proposition 1, which would have paid for construction of the district’s sixth high school...
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 results: Voters approve all 3 Travis County ESD propositions

Final results: Voters approve all 3 Travis County ESD propositions

Voters approved propositions in three Travis County emergency services districts in Saturday’s election. ESD 15 creation In Southeastern Travis County, 94 percent of voters approved adding a second emergency services district over an existing one — essentially a shortcut to allow taxes to be raised above the legal maximum. The existing Emergency Services District 11 provides emergency...
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...
West Lake Hills: South wins election to Place 3 on City Council

West Lake Hills: South wins election to Place 3 on City Council

Beth South defeated Ambrose Krumpe in the West Lake Hills City Council election for Place 3 with approximately 86 percent of the votes, 165-27. South led after early voting results by a margin of 123-12. South said by email on Election Night that she is grateful for the voter support and for the questions and comments from resident during her campaign. “I’m so pleased to have earned the...
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...
Dwayne Ariola wins Taylor City Council race

Dwayne Ariola wins Taylor City Council race

Dwayne Ariola, a vice president for a concrete company, won the race for the Taylor City Council. He received 748 votes while his opponent Gary Gola got 590 votes. Gola is the owner of a real estate agency. Both Ariola and Gola had never previously run for political office. They ran for a seat held by Taylor Mayor Jesse Ancira Jr., who chose not to seek re-election. The Taylor City Council will now...
Hutto council race will head to runoff between Rose, Wilcott

Hutto council race will head to runoff between Rose, Wilcott

The three-way race for the Hutto City Council seat in Place 1 is headed to a runoff. Scott Rose, a firefighter for Fort Hood, will face off against Dana Wilcott, who works with at-risk children for the Hutto School District, based on the unofficial final results of Saturday’s election. Rose received 217 votes, or nearly 45 percent, while Wilcott got 145 votes, or nearly 30 percent. The third...
Georgetown incumbents win their elections

Georgetown incumbents win their elections

Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross and City Council Member Rachael Jonrowe both won their races for re-election. Political newcomer Valerie Nicholson also beat her opponent to win a place on the council. Ross received overwhelming support for his second term as mayor with 3,442 votes, while his opponent, Sherwin Kahn, a retired chiropractor and social activist, got 1,323 votes. Read the back story on the...
FINAL: Three incumbents re-elected to Bee Cave City Council

FINAL: Three incumbents re-elected to Bee Cave City Council

The three incumbent candidates in the Bee Cave City Council election can rest easy in their council chairs, having won against two opponents by a comfortable margin. Council Member Kara King proved most popular with 33.62 percent of the vote, or 586 votes, followed by Council Member Marie Lowman with 483 votes, or 27.71 percent of the vote, and then Council Member Monty Parker with 465 votes, or 26...
Two newcomers beat incumbents in Cedar Park council races

Two newcomers beat incumbents in Cedar Park council races

Two political newcomers won their races against two incumbent Cedar Park City Council members Saturday. Anne Duffy earned 2,004 votes to defeat Place 3 Council Member Lyle Grimes, who got 1,471 votes. Heather Jefts received 2,007 votes to oust Place 5 Council Member Jon Lux, who got 1,476 votes. Duffy is a registered nurse and Jefts owns a swim coaching business. Both of the winners have previously...
Lakeway final vote count: Bond barely passes, incumbents keep seats

Lakeway final vote count: Bond barely passes, incumbents keep seats

Lakeway’s proposed $23 million police station bond eked by with 50.19 percent of the vote and City Council members Ron Massa and Bridge Bertram kept their seats in the city election held Saturday. The razor-thin victory for the police station bond — it passed by eight votes out of 2,116 ballots cast — will allow the plans for a new Lakeway police station to start moving forward....
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...
Herman: Texas Democrats hope to win Saturday nonpartisan elections

Herman: Texas Democrats hope to win Saturday nonpartisan elections

Saturday’s the big election day, the day that definitively begins the big turnaround that, politically speaking, moves Texas from red to purple to blue. At least that’s what Texas Democrats, members of a party that’s had little reason to party since prior to the turn of this century, want us to believe. Yes, we’ve heard this before. First, we must deal with this fact: You didn&rsquo...
Taylor council candidates agree city needs to attract businesses. jobs

Taylor council candidates agree city needs to attract businesses. jobs

A real estate company owner and a concrete business’ vice president are running against each other for a place on the Taylor City Council. Gary Gola and Dwayne Ariola are competing for an at-large position left vacant by Taylor Mayor Jesse Ancira Jr., who has decided not to seek re-election. The five council members will choose the next mayor. Both Gola and Ariola said the city needs to attract...
Campaign signs on Southwestern University campus spark debate

Campaign signs on Southwestern University campus spark debate

Whether a candidate for the Georgetown City Council violated election laws by posting her signs Monday on the Southwestern University campus was at the center of a debate this week. “According to several residents, self described ‘liberal Democrat’ Place 6 candidate Rachael Jonrowe possibly violated election laws concerning electioneering,” said the Wilco Report, an online...
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...
Austin school board will appoint replacement for Trustee Paul Saldaña

Austin school board will appoint replacement for Trustee Paul Saldaña

The Austin school board late Monday night voted unanimously to appoint a replacement to fill the board seat being vacated by Trustee Paul Saldaña, who announced his resignation earlier this month. The district could post online the candidate applications and questionnaires as early as Wednesday. The public will be able to hear from the candidates during candidate forums and public interviews...
Hutto council candidates stress their ability to work with others

Hutto council candidates stress their ability to work with others

A firefighter, a network sales specialist and an educational administrator are running against each other for a place on the Hutto City Council. Steven Harris, Dana Wilcott, and Scott Rose are all competing for the Place 1 seat held by Anne Cano, who has decided not to seek re-election. None of the candidates have run for political office before but they all said they could work well with other officials...
Austin district trustees to appoint replacement to fill Saldaña’s seat

Austin district trustees to appoint replacement to fill Saldaña’s seat

The Austin school board on Monday night voted to appoint a replacement to fill the board seat being vacated by Trustee Paul Saldaña, who announced his resignation earlier this month. Saldaña’s departure leaves the board without Hispanic representation, and with only one minority, in a district that is comprised of mostly low-income, Latino students. In his farewell speech, Saldañ...
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...
MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS: Early voting ends Tuesday; 5 ballot items to watch

MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS: Early voting ends Tuesday; 5 ballot items to watch

Early voting ends Tuesday for the May 6 municipal elections that include governments across Central Texas. Some notable elections to watch: 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...
Transgender bathrooms overshadow Dripping Springs school board race

Transgender bathrooms overshadow Dripping Springs school board race

Three candidates, including two incumbents, are vying for two school board seats in Dripping Springs, where a battle over which bathroom a transgender student should use has overshadowed a typically low-key race. The trio — incumbent Ron Jones, a consultant; incumbent Barbara Stroud, a family law attorney; Trey Powers, a senior mortgage loan officer — said there are far greater challenges...
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:...

Small corner of Travis County to vote on tax for emergency services

In a tiny, quiet, lakeside corner of far northwestern Travis County, about 700 voters will have a choice this May: to keep their sales tax at 8.25 percent or cut it back to 7.25 percent. But the question won’t be phrased that way on the ballot. Instead, thanks to a quirk of timing, it will simply ask if another penny of every dollar spent in the unincorporated areas surrounding the tiny town...
New Southeast Travis district would raise taxes for fire protection

New Southeast Travis district would raise taxes for fire protection

Southeastern Travis County voters have a choice this spring whether to add a second emergency services district over an existing one — essentially a shortcut to allow taxes to be raised above the legal maximum. Vote yes and emergency services district property taxes in the area will likely double, from an average of $115 per year to an average of $230. Vote no and there might be no immediate...
Georgetown council candidates both seeking office for first time

Georgetown council candidates both seeking office for first time

A software project manager and an educational consultant, both seeking office for the first time, are running against each other for a seat on the Georgetown City Council. David Sray is facing off against Valerie Nicholson for the District 2 seat left vacant by Keith Brainard, who decided not to run for re-election. Nicholson, a 39-year-old education technology consultant for grades K-12 and the co-owner...
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...
Two Cedar Park council members face election challengers

Two Cedar Park council members face election challengers

The owner of a swim coaching business and a registered nurse are running against two incumbents for positions on the Cedar Park City Council. Jon Lux and Lyle Grimes said they are running for re-election to keep working on projects that are contributing to the city’s success. Heather Jefts, who is running against Lux for the Place 5 seat, and Anne Duffy, who is challenging Grimes for the Place...
San Marcos residents to vote on $31.7 million bond package

San Marcos residents to vote on $31.7 million bond package

In just a couple of weeks, San Marcos voters will decide whether to support all or part of a$31.7 million bond package, the city’s first bond referendum in more than a decade. The package on the May 6 ballot has $17.2 million for public safety improvements and $14.5 million for a library expansion. The last time the city held a bond referendum was in 2005 for transportation projects. If both...
Small-business owner challenges two-term City Council incumbent

Small-business owner challenges two-term City Council incumbent

Georgetown City Council Member Rachael Jonrowe is running again for her Place 6 seat against political newcomer Lawrence Romero, a small-business owner and real estate agent. Jonrowe, 40, is seeking her third three-year term. She said she wants to push for the city to be more inclusive by having more affordable housing, listening to the concerns of African-American and Hispanic residents, and connecting...
Georgetown mayor’s race pits incumbent against social activist

Georgetown mayor’s race pits incumbent against social activist

Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross is running for re-election in May against political newcomer Dr. Sherwin Kahn, a retired chiropractor and social activist. Ross is running on his track record as mayor of a town that was the fastest-growing city of its size in the country last year. Kahn said Georgetown has much more room for improvement in race relations and reaching out to the underprivileged. Ross, who...
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...
Commentary: I voted for the first time in 2016 and why I’ll vote again

Commentary: I voted for the first time in 2016 and why I’ll vote again

Last November, I voted for the first time. I’m 23, and while I was old enough to vote in 2012, I didn’t vote because I didn’t feel I had much at stake. In November, however, I voted because the election felt personal. Some of the people I love most — my girlfriend and my father — are undocumented and I feared that I would be separated from them. Not only did I vote in...
Opinion: For some gay parents, Mother's Day (or Father's Day) is awkward

Opinion: For some gay parents, Mother's Day (or Father's Day) is awkward

One year for Father's Day, Mike Cabotaje bought a picture frame for his daughter to give his partner. It read "Greatest Dad Ever," which was odd he says, "because it suggests I'm second best at most." Many parents with young kids struggle, at least to some extent, with how to observe these holidays. Matriarchs of the blogosphere pen articles with titles such as "I Have To...
White House: Trump may not sign government funding bill without border wall

White House: Trump may not sign government funding bill without border wall

WASHINGTON - White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said Sunday that President Donald Trump might refuse to sign a government spending bill that does not include money for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, leaving open the possibility of a federal government shutdown toward the end of the week. "Will he sign a government funding bill that does not include funding for the border wall?"...
Texas Republican wants shouting CNN reporter fired

Texas Republican wants shouting CNN reporter fired

A Republican member of Congress from Texas says that a CNN reporter should be fired for his persistent shouting of a question at President-elect Donald Trump. What’s more, CNN’s Jim Acosta should be banned from future news conferences, said U.S. Rep. Randy Weber, R-Alvin, in a tweet Thursday morning. Weber’s tweet came a day after a tense back-and-forth between Trump and Acosta at...
Williamson County shatters first-day early voting record

Williamson County shatters first-day early voting record

5:30 p.m. update: The number of Williamson County residents hitting the polls Monday for the first day of early voting has surpassed the number of people who voted the first day of early voting in the 2012 presidential election. The Williamson County Elections Department reported 14,705 people have voted as of 5 p.m. compared to a total turnout of 9,223 voters on the first day of early voting in November...
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