John Thomaides and Daniel Guerrero, vying to become the next San Marcos mayor in the Nov. 2 election, will headline the League of Women Voter’s debate tonight.
One of the signature events of the political season, the league’s debate, the first of two scheduled this month, will be 7 to 9 p.m. today at the San Marcos Activity Center. Tonight’s debate encompasses the mayoral races as well as three seats up for grabs on the San Marcos City Council; in addition, candidates for the District 25 Texas senate seat, the Edwards Aquifer Authority board and State Board of Education District 5 have been invited to participate.
Candidates for offices from state representative on down — including Hays County judge, sheriff and two county commissioners seats — will debate at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11, at the activity center.
Video of both debates will be available the day after the event at smmercury.wpengine.com and haysfreepress.com
Early voting for the Nov. 2 general election starts Oct. 18 and continues through Oct. 29. In order to vote by mail, ballot applications must be received by Oct. 26. The deadline to register to vote in the election is today.
In addition to Guerrero and Thomaides, six candidates are competing for three city council seats. In Place 1, incumbent Kim Porterfield is running against Dave Newman, a 2008 mayoral contender. In Place 2, Jude Prather, a 2007 city council candidate, is running against Toby Hooper, a Seton hospital system administrator. In Place 6, independent filmmaker Shane Scott is running against retired police officer Randy van Oudekerke.
In addition to candidates for three San Marcos City Council positions and the mayor, candidates for the District 25 Texas senate seat, the Edwards Aquifer board and State Board of Education District 5 have been invited to participate in the Oct. 4 debate.
All contested candidates on the ballot for state representative District 45, Hays County judge, Hays County commissioners places 2 and 4, Hays County sheriff, county court at law judge place 1 and judge for the 423rd Judicial District have been invited to participate in the Oct. 11 debate. Candidates for district clerk, county clerk and county surveyor have been asked to introduce themselves but will not debate.
The local League’s Voters Guide, which will cover city and county general election candidates, as well as the Austin Community College annexation election and two San Marcos city propositions, will be published this week at haysfreepress.com and smmercury.wpengine.com.
The debates, open to the public without charge, and the Voters Guide are the San Marcos Area League of Women Voters’ key voter services and voter education projects. Serving as Voter Services Chair for the local League this year is Grace Melcher Neal.
Open to men and women, the League of Women Voters’ guiding principles focus on belief in the representative form of government and individual liberties established in the Constitution of the United States. A nonpartisan organization, another guiding principle is that “democratic government depends upon the informed and active participation of its citizens and requires that governmental bodies protect the citizen’s right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed actions, holding open meetings and making public records accessible.”
The organization’s nonpartisan stance, which members take very seriously, is always evident in League-sponsored debates and the Voters Guides. All candidates for each office will be asked the same carefully crafted questions, with each having the opportunity to be the first to respond to one question.
The San Marcos Area LWV is governed by a 12-member board of directors. Carole Belver is serving her second year as president. Other board members include Mary Borm, Doug Holcomb, Jeannie Lewis, Margaret Lindsey, Grace Melcher Neal, Pat Murdock, Vickye Lambdin, JoEllen Korthals, Peggy Townes and Dianne Wassenich.
The local league board generally meets the first Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at the Price Seniors Center. For more information about league membership, call Margaret Lindsey at 512-353-2872. For more information about voter services issues, e-mail Grace Melcher Neal at LWVNEAL@yahoo.com.