San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

November 18th, 2009
Precinct 2 politicians prepare to play musical chairs

by BRAD ROLLINS
Editor and Publisher

Ray Bryant’s resignation this week and forthcoming departure from the Kyle City Council may be the first song in a game of political musical chairs resulting from Pct. 2 Commissioner Jeff Barton’s anticipated decision to run for county judge instead of re-election.

Both Bryant, a Democrat, and Hays CISD trustee Mark Jones, a Republican, formally announced their intentions this week to run for the commissioners seat in their respective parties’ March 2010 primaries ahead of the general election in November.

All told, the shuffle could quite conceivably result in four vacant Kyle city council seats and a new mayor by election day in May.

As a school board member, Jones is not subject to the so-called resign-to-run provisions of the Texas constitution requiring officeholders with more than a year left on their term to resign upon announcing a campaign for higher office.

It does apply to Bryant and to Mayor Mike Gonzalez, should he throw in for commissioner on the Republican side. On Nov. 6, Gonzalez appointed Ruben Lopez as campaign treasurer for a possible commissioners court bid. But that action by itself does not trigger the resign-to-run law and Gonzalez so far has not said anything publicly since telling the Mercury in August that he was thinking about running.

Gonzalez’s resignation would likely mean other council members leaving their seats to run for mayor.

District 6 council member Lucy Johnson said this week that talk of a run is premature because Gonzalez hasn’t announced his resignation. If that does happen, she said, “You should probably give me a call then.” District 1 council member Michelle Lopez’s term expires in May 2010 and conventional wisdom holds she might run for mayor as well. (Michelle Lopez is married to Ruben Lopez, Gonzalez’s campaign treasurer.)

On top of all this, District 3 council member David Salazar has said he will not seek re-election in May when his second term is set to expire.

San Marcos Mercury Editor and Publisher Brad Rollins writes about Hays County for the Hays Free Press where this story was originally published.

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