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Newcomer Ben Zeller upsets incumbent Victoria County judge (w/video)

By Melissa Crowe
March 4, 2014 at 11:03 p.m.
Updated March 4, 2014 at 9:05 p.m.

Ben Zeller leans against his truck as he waves to passing motorists outside of Holy Family Catholic Church, the precinct 33 polling location. Zeller, a Republican candidate for county judge, said he arrived at the location a little before 7 a.m. Tuesday and spent all day waving at cars.

Republican newcomer Ben Zeller upset three-term incumbent Victoria County Judge Don Pozzi on Tuesday.

"Grateful is the best way to describe it - grateful and humbled by the many friends and family members, prayers, encouragement and support from folks I've gotten along the way," Zeller, a 29-year-old loan supervisor, said.

He will represent the party in the Nov. 4 general election against Democratic Party candidate Ron Reyna.

Surrounded by supporters at his Election Night watch party, Pozzi acknowledged defeat.

"I'm going to miss it," Pozzi, 70, said. "It's certainly been one of the most rewarding things I've done in my life, and I've loved every minute of it."

Republican Party Chairman Michael Cloud described Zeller as a man who "does his homework and works well with people."

"I think Pozzi has done a fine job as a judge in our county," Cloud said. "Voters had the choice between two good candidates."

Zeller's campaign took on a strategy centered on cutting the tax rate, which has stayed at 33.86 cents per $100 valuation the past decade.

He said he wanted to keep the tax rate low, and government small, efficient and conservative.

"I'm very eager and looking forward to November," Zeller said. "I think we are going to win a decisive victory in November."

Pozzi said he hoped the county continued moving forward.

"My hope is that the work we have done and the work we intend throughout the rest of the year will continue," Pozzi said.

Pozzi's term ends Dec. 31.



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