By SEAN WARDWELL
Katie Bell Moore was elected chair of the Hays County Democratic Party (HCDP) in a 14-13 vote over former Texas State College Democrat President Courtney Strange, during a May 21 meeting of its executive committee.
Moore will serve the remainder of Anna Martinez Boling’s term, which expires in 2010. Boling resigned as the county’s Democratic chair earlier this month. Moore has indicated that she will run for a full two-year term when the present term ends.Moore, 29, moved from northern Travis County to Buda in the summer of 2008, when her husband was transferred to his company’s San Marcos office. She previously worked for State Rep. Eliot Naishtat (D-Austin) and volunteered with the Travis County Democratic Party.
“Through last year’s historic election, I became very involved in the Hays County campaign and had the opportunity to meet and work with many energized and enthusiastic Hays County Dems, veterans and newcomers, alike,” said Moore in a statement before the election. “Hays County is very different from Travis County, but I believe I have learned many things from (the) Travis County Democratic Party that could work well for our growing county while putting to work the ideas that have been so successful here.”
Now, Moore is looking towards the future, as she takes over from Boling.
“First, I’d like to get our new media campaign up and running,” Moore said. “I’d like to update our website more and start using more social networking. We just need to get ready for victory in 2010.”
The 2010 election will bring several challenges for the Democrats locally. Hays County Judge Liz Sumter (D-Wimberley) is expected to face a primary challenge from Precinct 2 Commissioner Jeff Barton (D-Buda), though neither has made a formal announcement. Barton’s seat will also be up for election, as will the seat held by Precinct 4 Commissioner Karen Ford (D-Dripping Springs). Democrats hold a 4-1 majority on the Hays County Commissioners Court.
Aside from trying to win elections, Moore sees a greater role for the HCDP in local neighborhoods.
“I’d like to focus on outreach to communities,” Moore said. “We need to be present in every community in the county.”