Most Republican incumbents unopposed in county elections

Marina Riker By Marina Riker

Dec. 12, 2017 at 8:36 p.m.
Updated Dec. 13, 2017 at 6 a.m.

Clint Ives

Clint Ives   Contributed photo for The Victoria Advocate

The deadline has passed for hopeful candidates to file to run in March 2018 primary elections, kicking off campaign season for elected officials and their challengers.

In Victoria County, however, the campaign process may be less nerve-wracking for a majority of Republican incumbents who are running unopposed.

By the time the deadline passed Monday for people to run in Democratic or Republican primaries, no one filed to challenge County Judge Ben Zeller, Commissioner Kevin Janak or the county and district clerks.

Commissioner Clint Ives is one of the only Victoria County elected officials who will face a contender in the March 6 primary election. Republican Mark Schroller, who works at The Dow Chemical Company, announced his intent to run for commissioner in Precinct 4, which covers the northeast part of the county.

No Democrats filed to run in the county judge or commissioners' races. Republicans were also unopposed in races for county and district clerk seats, in addition to the county treasurer's position.

"For local elections, I think people have to be pragmatic," said Pat Tally, head of the Victoria County Democratic Party.

"They're not going to win as a Democrat; do they declare themselves as a Republican, or just not run?"

When there aren't contentious local issues on the forefront of people's minds, they may be more complacent with candidates currently in office, Tally said. Costs to finance campaigns can also deter some citizens from running for office, she said.

"It's an expensive thing to run for anything," Tally said. "And I think people just feel like it's not something they want to invest in when they feel like it's a one-party town."

Bill Pozzi, chairman of the Victoria County Republican Party, said his No. 1 priority is to find as many candidates as possible. Although there were few unopposed races in Victoria County, Pozzi said it was a good year for his party on a regional level.

As of Tuesday, 10 candidates were listed on the state's website in the race for the 27th Congressional District, which is currently held by U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold.

"I love it when people step up to the plate," said Pozzi. That's really the American political dream: to have a lot of common folks step up to the plate."



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