By BILL PETERSON
Editor at Large
SAN MARCOS – Hays County Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe already is nearing the end of her third term and she could be well on her way to a fourth after her convincing Democratic primary Tuesday night over challenger Celestino Mendez.
Despite challenge from well-connected political players in Kyle and San Marcos, Ingalsbe’s supporters delivered a crushing victory. Ingalsbe took 2,169 votes, 65 percent of 3,337 votes cast. With her victory, Ingalsbe will move on to the November general election to face a challenge from Republican Nick Ramus.
Ingalsbe’s district is comprised of the eastern portions of San Marcos and southern reaches of Kyle.
With her win, Ingalsbe goes to the general election as a prohibitive favorite due to her proven electoral success in her precinct and the prospects for a big Democratic year in a presidential vote.
Ingalsbe and Mendez campaigned on very similar arguments, which played to the incumbent’s advantage against her 75-year-old challenger. While Mendez supporters argued that Ingalsbe didn’t show sufficient interest in road improvements, Ingalsbe campaigned on the county’s progress in moving forward on the San Marcos loop and Interstate-35 through Kyle. Both candidates discussed giving the office greater presence in Kyle.
The incumbent remains a key player on the commissioners court as the swing vote. Often, Ingalsbe will break the tie when Precinct 2 Commissioner Jeff Barton (D-Kyle) and Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley (R-San Marcos) are on one side of an issue, while County Judge Liz Sumter (D-Wimberley) and Precinct 4 Commissioner Karen Ford (D-Dripping Springs) are on the other.
In effect, Ingalsbe’s vote decided that the county will issue $19.5 million in revenue bonds to begin work on road projects included in a pass-through financing agreement with the state. Ingalsbe at first argued against a revenue bond issue, but negotiated an agreement with Barton in open court to approve the measure.Email | Print