Williamson County Election News

Emily’s List gets involved in fifth Texas race for Congress

Emily’s List gets involved in fifth Texas race for Congress

It’s the year of the woman in terms of the number of women running for office — and it’s the year that female donors are stepping up to back them, with the advocacy group Emily’s List choosing to get involved in five Texas congressional races. Emily’s List, which promotes campaigns of Democratic women who support abortion rights, announced Friday that it was endorsing...
Herman: Can viral video spur Central Texas congressional race upset?

Herman: Can viral video spur Central Texas congressional race upset?

The early reviews are in, and they’re pretty darned good. I haven’t seen anybody hail it as the feel-good hit of the summer, but it is getting noticed as something of an instant classic in its genre. “A war hero is running for Congress, and she just dropped one of 2018’s best political ads,” said the USA Today headline. “Veteran-turned-congressional candidate draws...
Election Digest: Lawyer edges out associate judge in 459th court race

Election Digest: Lawyer edges out associate judge in 459th court race

TRAVIS COUNTY Attorney wins Travis County Democratic 459th court primary Maya Guerra Gamble has won the Democratic nomination for Travis County’s new 459th Civil District Court. In a close race, Guerra Gamble earned 25,122 votes, 51 percent, to Aurora Martinez Jones’ 23,962 votes. Turnout in Travis County for the primary runoffs was just 8.5 percent, compared with 21 percent in March for...
Boles to run as GOP candidate in Wilco Commissioner Precinct 4 race

Boles to run as GOP candidate in Wilco Commissioner Precinct 4 race

10:20 p.m. update: Russ Boles won the runoff election Tuesday and will be the Republican candidate running for Williamson County Commissioner, Precinct 4, final return numbers show. Results from all 64 polling locations in Williamson County show Boles obtained 1,569 votes, or 59 percent. Rival Bobby Seiferman received 1,091 votes, or 41 percent. Boles, 50, will now face Democrat Carlos Salinas in...
Hill, Villarreal headed to a runoff in Leander mayoral race

Hill, Villarreal headed to a runoff in Leander mayoral race

Leander voters showed Saturday that change is something they “absolutely crave,” said Troy Hill, one of the mayoral candidates who is headed to a runoff election. Hill will again face Vic Villarreal in the runoff June 16. “I think that the race going forward will be a choice between the status quo and failed city policies of the past,” Hill said. He received 991 votes, or 42...
Corbin Van Arsdale says it will be an ‘honor’ to be mayor of Cedar Park

Corbin Van Arsdale says it will be an ‘honor’ to be mayor of Cedar Park

After having served two terms on the Cedar Park City Council, Corbin Van Arsdale said he is looking forward to leading the city as mayor. “It’s been good to us and given us a wonderful and safe place to live,” Van Arsdale said after winning 70 percent of the vote Saturday against opponent Bob Cornelius. “So it will be a real honor to continue serving Cedar Park residents on...
A roundup of Central Texas May 5 election results

A roundup of Central Texas May 5 election results

TRAVIS COUNTY LAKE TRAVIS SCHOOLS Incumbent, two newcomers win school board races Lake Travis school board incumbent Guy C. Clayton will keep his Place 1 seat, and two newcomers will join him on the board after winning elections Saturday. Clayton garnered 2,687 votes, 75 percent of the ballots cast in his race against David Lovelace. Nine candidates ran for two open seats on the board. Lauren White...
UPDATE: Matt Baker claims victory in Round Rock council elections

UPDATE: Matt Baker claims victory in Round Rock council elections

Matt Baker, who co-owns a real estate agency, and Writ Baese, a co-owner of a payroll company seeking his second term, both clinched victories in the May 5 Round Rock City Council elections. Baker received 2,326 votes (60.67 percent) against Cam Scott, a senior director of government relations at the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network. Scott received 1,508 votes (39.3 percent)....
5 things you need to know about early voting before the May 5 election

5 things you need to know about early voting before the May 5 election

Early voting started this week and ends Tuesday before the May 5 election day. Here’s what you need to know: 1. What’s on the ballot? Races in Central Texas cover the spectrum of city council, school district and city proposition elections. The cities of Bee Cave, Cedar Park, Lakeway, Leander, Liberty Hill and Wimberley are all electing a mayor and council members. Round Rock residents...
Seven candidates competing for three places on Leander City Council

Seven candidates competing for three places on Leander City Council

Two Leander City Council members are facing a challenger in their re-election bids while an open third seat has drawn three candidates in the May 5 election. The race for the Place 2 seat pits incumbent Michelle Stephenson against Philip Contatore, while Christine Sederquist will challenge Council Member Ron Abruzzese for his Place 4 seat. Marci Cannon, Marshall Hines and Derek Levisay are running...
Four candidates compete for two seats on the Taylor City Council

Four candidates compete for two seats on the Taylor City Council

Two rivals are challenging two incumbents on the Taylor City Council in the May 5 election. Real estate broker Gary Gola is running against Mayor Brandt Rydell for the District 3 seat, while retired electrician Mitchell Drummond is trying to replace Christopher Gonzales in the District 2 race. Rydell, 47, is an attorney who acts as the assistant general counsel for the Electric Reliability Council...
Three candidates compete to be Leander’s next mayor

Three candidates compete to be Leander’s next mayor

The executive director of an irrigation company, a technology salesman and a college professor are competing to be Leander’s next mayor. Adam Benefield, Troy Hill and Vic Villarreal are running for the office, which is up for grabs in the May 5 election because Chris Fielder decided not to run again after serving two terms. Benefield, 41, is the executive director of EcoIrrigation and Landscaping...
Social activist running against Georgetown City Council incumbent

Social activist running against Georgetown City Council incumbent

Georgetown City Council Member Anna Eby is running for a second term against community activist Mary Calixtro. Kevin Pitts, a bank president, is running unopposed for the District 5 seat being vacated by Ty Gipson, who decided not to run for re-election. The election will be May 5. Early voting will start April 23 and end May 1. Eby, 34, is an attorney who specializes in business litigation and appeals...
Eight candidates run for Cedar Park council and mayor

Eight candidates run for Cedar Park council and mayor

Eight people are running for the Cedar Park City Council, including two vying to be mayor. Corbin Van Arsdale, a former council member and previous state legislator, is running for mayor against Bob Cornelius, the executive director of marketing and advertising company 90 Degrees. Mayor Matt Powell is not seeking re-election in the May 5 voting. Van Arsdale, 48, is the president and general counsel...
UPDATE: Bill Gravell wins Republican primary for Williamson judge

UPDATE: Bill Gravell wins Republican primary for Williamson judge

11:55 p.m. update: Justice of the Peace Bill Gravell has defeated Frank Leffingwell to win the Republican nomination for Williamson County judge. Gravell received 17,580 votes (52.4 percent) while Leffingwell had 15,979 votes (47.6 percent). Gravell will face Democrat Blane Conklin in the November election. County Commissioner for Precinct 2 Cynthia Long won the Republican nomination against her challenger...
UPDATE: Several Travis Co. polling places have wait times of at least 20 minutes

UPDATE: Several Travis Co. polling places have wait times of at least 20 minutes

1:55 p.m. update: At least six polling places in Travis County have voters standing in line for 20 minutes or more, according to a county website tracking wait times. The real-time tracker shows wait times of 20 minutes or more at: Travis County tax offices, 15822 Foothill Farms Loop in Pflugerville, which has 10 voting booths. Travis County offices at 5501 Airport Blvd. in Central Austin...
Six candidates compete for three places on Cedar Park City Council

Six candidates compete for three places on Cedar Park City Council

Three Cedar Park City Council seats and the mayor’s positions are all up for grabs in the May election. Corbin Van Arsdale, the incumbent on the Place 2 council seat, is running against Bob Cornelius, a chief executive officer, for the mayor’s position. Cedar Park’s current mayor, Matt Powell, is not seeking re-election. The two candidates running for Arsdale’s seat on the...
Early voting starts Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know.

Early voting starts Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know.

Early voting starts today for the Democratic and Republican party primaries. Here are five things to know before you go to the polls: 1. Your vote matters. Both parties are picking their contenders for a half-dozen congressional seats in Central Texas, as well as governor, lieutenant governor, state legislative seats, judicial posts and county commissioners courts. In many cases, though, the seats...
Two Georgetown City Council seats are up for election in May

Two Georgetown City Council seats are up for election in May

Two Georgetown City Council seats are up for election in May. Incumbent Anna Eby is running for her second term in District 1. She is being challenged by Mary Calixtro, an activist who is the co-founder of the nonprofit Southeast Georgetown Community Council. Kevin Pitts, the president of BBVA Compass Bank, is running unopposed for the District 5 seat. Incumbent Ty Gipson has announced he will not...
Four Republicans compete for Williamson County commissioner seat

Four Republicans compete for Williamson County commissioner seat

Four Republicans are competing for the chance to be Williamson County’s next Precinct 4 commissioner in the primary in March. Vying to face off against Democrat Carlos Salinas in November are Russ Boles, a commercial broker; David Marek, a truck driver for Williamson County’s Road and Bridge Division; Heather Peal, a managing partner of an engineering and construction firm; and Bobby Seiferman...
Republican candidates for Williamson County judge tout experience

Republican candidates for Williamson County judge tout experience

Both Republican candidates for Williamson County judge emphasize how much their experience with government would help them improve the county. Frank Leffingwell, a Round Rock City Council member and tax lawyer, is running against Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Bill Gravell in the Republican primary March 6. The winner will face Democrat Blane Conklin in the November election. Both Leffingwell and...
Incumbent faces former deputy in Williamson commissioner’s race

Incumbent faces former deputy in Williamson commissioner’s race

Williamson County Commissioner Cynthia Long, who is running for her fourth four-year term in Precinct 2, is facing a challenge from former sheriff’s deputy Bart Turek in the Republican primary in March. The winner will face a Democratic opponent, Kasey Redus, in November. Long, 55, said she has a proven track record of getting transportation projects done in the county and a business background...
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

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...
What ID will you need to vote Tuesday?

What ID will you need to vote Tuesday?

Election Day is Tuesday, and although the Texas voter ID law is still in legal limbo, here’s what you need to know about how to vote in person: What ID is needed to vote? Texas still requires registered voters to show one of seven forms of photo ID — if they have one. Acceptable forms of ID are a Texas driver’s license or handgun license, a U.S. passport, U.S. military ID card, U...
AHEAD OF THE VOTE: Select driver’s license offices to open Saturday to issue election IDs

AHEAD OF THE VOTE: Select driver’s license offices to open Saturday to issue election IDs

Select driver’s license offices will be opening throughout Texas on Saturday – including in Travis, Williamson and Bell counties – to issue election identification certificates. People can also obtain the election IDs at any driver’s license office during regular business hours. However, select offices will additionally be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Texas&rsquo...
Early voting starts on 7 changes to Texas Constitution

Early voting starts on 7 changes to Texas Constitution

Early voting begins Monday for the chance to tack seven new amendments onto the Texas Constitution, which has already been amended 491 times since its birth in 1876, making it one of the longest such documents in the nation. The proposed amendment that has gained the most notice is Proposition 6, which would allow tax breaks for the spouses of police, firefighters and emergency workers killed in the...
Williamson County Commissioner Cynthia Long to run for fourth term

Williamson County Commissioner Cynthia Long to run for fourth term

Williamson County Commissioner Cynthia Long is running for re-election, according to a news release she issued this week. She will be running for her fourth four-year term. The election is in November 2018. Long, 55, said it was “vital to keep driving the policies that have consistently resulted in Williamson County being ranked as one of the best places in the nation to live, work and raise...
Viewpoints: It’s time for Rep. Dawnna Dukes to step down

Viewpoints: It’s time for Rep. Dawnna Dukes to step down

Twice now, Rep. Dawnna Dukes has rejected offers by the Travis County District Attorney’s office to drop a corruption case against her in exchange for Dukes’ resignation. She first rejected then-DA Rosemary Lehmberg’s offer in September. On Tuesday, she did the same with DA Margaret Moore’s deal. Dukes, who has denied any wrongdoing, now heads to court in October to face 13...
Commentary: Language barrier shouldn’t be a barrier to democracy

Commentary: Language barrier shouldn’t be a barrier to democracy

Though voting should be a simple process, it’s undeniable that some people face more obstacles at the polls than others. When English is not your first language, the voting process can be especially difficult. Though a controversial voter ID law here has grabbed national headlines, fewer Texans know about the state’s more obscure voting rights battle that’s threatening the right...
Scott Rose, Terri Grimm win their races for the Hutto City Council

Scott Rose, Terri Grimm win their races for the Hutto City Council

Hutto has two new City Council members after a special election Saturday. Terri Grimm won a three-way race for Place 6 on the council, and Scott Rose won his runoff election against Dana Wilcott for Place 1. Grimm trounced her opponents, getting 307 votes to win Place 6 by more than 200 ballots. Rose won with 289 votes for Place 1. Grimm ran against Jim Morris and Kris Andrews to fill the unexpired...
Terri Grimm and Scott Rose win their races for Hutto City Council

Terri Grimm and Scott Rose win their races for Hutto City Council

Hutto has two new council members after a special election Saturday. Terri Grimm beat two other opponents for Place 6 on the Hutto Council while Scott Rose won his runoff election against Dana Wilcott. Teri Grimm won with 307 votes for Place 6. Rose won with 289 votes for Place 1. Grimm ran against Jim Morris and Kris Andrews to fill the unexpired term of Bettina Jordan who resigned in March from...
Two Hutto City Council seats up for grabs Saturday

Two Hutto City Council seats up for grabs Saturday

Two seats on the Hutto City Council will be up for grabs Saturday with both a special election and a runoff race. A travel program manager, a homemaker and a retired electrical engineer are running against each other for the Place 6 seat left behind by Bettina Jordan, who resigned in March. There also is a runoff between Fort Hood firefighter Scott Rose and Dana Wilcott, who works with at-risk children...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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