County election date undeclared

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

Feb. 7, 2012 at 8:05 p.m.
Updated Feb. 6, 2012 at 8:07 p.m.

Although the primary election date is still unsettled, nearly 20 candidates filed for a place on the Victoria County ballot.

Unless all sides of the Texas redistricting lawsuit approve the interim map drawn by the Texas Attorney General, the once-delayed April 3 primary will likely be pushed back again, Elections Administrator George Matthews said.

"There's no way to tell exactly what the courts will do at this point," Matthews said. "Before last November, I could have told you elections are always on and I could have given the date through 20 years."

The proposed interim map puts Victoria County in District 34 for U.S. Congress. Previously the county was in District 14.

For the state Senate, Victoria County stays in District 18; however, the county moves to District 32 from District 30 for State Representative, Matthews said.

Until the issue is resolved, new voter registration cards cannot go out and election filings could change, he said.

The county ballot has openings for sheriff, tax assessor/collector, commissioner Precinct 1, commissioner Precinct 3, and all four constables, Matthews said.

Unofficial filings show the Republican Party candidates with two contested races: one for sheriff and another for Precinct 4 constable.

As of Tuesday, incumbent T. Michael O'Connor and B. Scott Hornstein filed for sheriff; Tony Mallette for Precinct 1 commissioner, incumbent Gary E. Burns for Precinct 3 commissioner, incumbent James Calloway for Precinct 2 constable, incumbent Kenneth Easley Jr. for Precinct 3 constable, and incumbent John G. Miller and Roger Stuart for Precinct 4 constable.

The Democratic Party has two contested races for the primary election.

Five candidates are running for Precinct 1 commissioner: incumbent Kenny Spann, Daniel "Danny" Garcia, Chris Rivera, Juan Gabriel Soliz and Kenneth D. Wells.

Precinct 1 constable has two candidates, incumbent Richard Castillo and Richard Alan Williams.

Incumbent Rena Scherer is running for tax assessor and Rey Herrera is running for Precinct 3 commissioner.

Kelly Gill, chairwoman of the Victoria County Democratic Party, said until the redistricting lines are set in stone, "it's a lot of confusion and a lot of headaches."

At this point, she said she could see the state have two primary elections: one presidential on April 3 and a later election for the other races.

"The more this gets pushed back, the more campaign fatigue and confusion there will be," she said.

Once the redistricting maps are approved, filing will reopen to give candidates a chance to file or drop out of the races.

Gill said she was not sure what would happen with the local Democratic party.

"There could possibly be a few people to step down, it could happen and it could not," she said.

The Victoria County Republican Party did not return multiple phone messages and emails for comment by Tuesday night.



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