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And they’re off ...Local political games begin

By Judith Pannebaker

The political season has once again enveloped America with its mantra of lower taxes, more governmental transparency and increased cooperation between law enforcement agencies. From Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to Bandera County, candidates have declared their intentions and the political games have begun.

With local paperwork now settled, the following candidates are set to duke it out in the March 4 Republican Primary:

• Sheriff - incumbent Weldon Tucker and challenger Frances Kaiser

• County attorney - challengers John Payne and Stephen Schaefer; Incumbent Kerry Schneider is not seeking another term.

•Tax assessor-collection - MaeVion Meyer, unopposed.

• Precinct 1 Commissioner - incumbent Bruce Eliker and challengers Phillip Barker and Fidel Ramirez

• Precinct 1 Constable - incumbent Phillip P. Tobin, unopposed

• Precinct 2 Constable - incumbent Ernest C. Reich III, unopposed

• Precinct 3 Commissioner - incumbent Richard Keese and challenger Carl Holt. In the interest of full disclosure, Holt serves as sales and marketing director for the Bandera County Courier.

• Precinct 3 Constable - incumbent Don Walters and challenger Mike Bolton

• Precinct 4 Constable - challengers Rod Chalmers and Ernie Lobello; incumbent Precinct 4 Constable Bill Stanton is retiring.

• Republican Party chairman - Connie Taylor, unopposed
Meanwhile, in the 216th District, as reported in last week’s edition of the Courier, incumbent Judge Stephen Ables declined to run for another term. However, four other candidates are ready to take up the judicial slack.

Running for the office of 216th District Judge are Kerr County attorneys Harold J. Danford, Doyle Weaver and Keith Williams and Kendall County attorney Joseph M. Davis. The 216th District is comprised of Bandera, Gillespie, Kendall and Kerr counties.

Bruce Curry runs unopposed for another term as 216th District Attorney.

On the state level, incumbent Nathan Macias will face challenger Doug Miller for District 73 representative. District 73 includes Bandera, Comal Gillespie and Kerr counties.

United States District 21 Representative Lamar Smith remains unopposed in his re-election bid, as does United States Senator John Cornyn.

On the other side of the aisle, no local or district candidates filed for the Democratic Primary, according to Jaye Rath, chairman of the Bandera County Democratic Party.

On the state level, Daniel Boone has declared as a candidate for District 73 Representative, opposing Macias.

Additionally, Gene Kelly, Ray McMurrey, Rick Noriega and Rhett Smith will face off in the Democratic Primary to vie for Cornyn’s US Senate seat.