The majority of Hays County voters in the November 2008 election re-elected incumbents in all county races. Voters contributed to the victories of the incumbent state representative, congressman, and US Senator.
Beginning with the county commissioner races, Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, Hays County Commissioner, Precinct One, easily beat back Nick Ramus, her republican challenger, and Bill Wyatt, her write-in opponent, by capturing 63.7% of the vote compared to Ramus’s 33.42% and Wyatt’s 2.88% to win re-election to a fourth term.
Precinct Three Incumbent Hays County Commissioner Will Conley also faced two opponents but experienced a narrower win by capturing 52.4% of the vote to his democratic opponent Steve Klepfer’s 42.5% and Libertarian candidate Deborah R. Wood’s 5.1% of the vote. The precinct three race was marked by many democrats crossing party lines to support the republican, Conley, led by former State Chair of the Texas Democratic Party Charles Soechting, while many republicans crossed party lines and voted for Kepfler. In the end the San Marcos democrats who supported Conley outnumbered the Wimberley and Woodcreek republicans who supported Kepfler.
Commissioner Conley thanked his supporters “for the trust to continue to represent them.” Conley promised to continue the policies he had supported in the past and to keep “an open door, and open mind to work as a community, to keep raising the bar and our quality of life.” Conley said he felt “wonderful” over his re-election and said, “I’ve worked hard for this county for years. I’ve dedicated my life to this county.”
Conley said that his bi-partisan support was “due to my hard work and the way I’ve governed. I’ve listened to everybody’s concerns and I’ve been open. Everybody may not agree where I’ve come down on an issue but they know I’ve listened and considered their opinion and that I’m making the best decision that I think I can make for Hays County.” Conley noted that in his opinion for many of his democratic and republican colleagues, “county politics is about getting things done for the county, not about party politics. I think [the voters] have a proven record to go off of [in supporting me].”
In other races, incumbent Justice of the Peace, Precinct One, Place One, Jo Anne Prado comfortably defeated her republican challenger Rodney Van Oudekerke by 55.09% to 44.91% respectively. Republican incumbent Sheriff Allen Bridges won his re-election with 54.79% of the vote against his democratic challenger Bill Huddleston who garnered 45.21% of the vote. Incumbent Tax Assessor-Collector Luanne Caraway easily won re-election capturing 58.96% of the vote to her democratic challenger Robert Avera’s 36.76% and Libertarian Steve Ravet’s 4.27%.
Moving up the ballot, incumbent democratic state representative Patrick Rose coasted to re-election with 58.91% to his republican challenger Matt Young’s 37.67% and Libertarian Tom Gleinser’s 3.42%. Incumbent democratic US Congressman Lloyd Doggett won 55.32% of the vote, easily defeating republican challenger George L. Morovich with 40.82% and Libertarian Jim Stutsman with 3.87%.
Hays County mirrored the rest of Texas by giving a majority of its vote to the incumbent republican US Senator John Cornyn and to the republican presidential and vice presidential ticket of Senator John McCain and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin albeit by much smaller margins. Cornyn won 51.75 % of the Hays County vote compared to the democratic candidate Richard J. (Rick) Noriega’s 44.21% and Libertarian Yvonne Adams Schick’s 4.04%.
The McCain-Palin ticket eked out the narrowest of victories in Hays County, winning just 50.19% of the vote to the Obama-Biden ticket’s 48.14% and the Bob Barr-Wayne A. Root Libertarian ticket’s 1.22%.
By Ed Mihalkanin PhD
Patrick Rose and Will Conley congratulate each other on their wins
Record turnout saw long lines at voting locations all over Hays County
Photos by Christina Zambrano, Andy SevillaEmail | Print