Making his second public appearance in Hays County in four months, Attorney General Greg Abbott will rally supporters and raise campaign cash at a reception on Tuesday at a backer’s ranch near Wimberley.
The event will be 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21 at the home of Dodie Juarez and Dick Scott, 11030 Mt. Sharp Road in Wimberley. The fundraiser is sponsored by Hays County Judge Bert Cobb, Sheriff Gary Cutler and County Commissioners Will Conley, Ray Whisenant and Mark Jones.
People who plan to attend the event are asked to RSVP today by email to Sarah Whitley, Abbott’s campaign finance director.
Political observers of both parties say Hays County remains a swing county despite the near dominance of Republicans among countywide officeholders.
After District Attorney Sherri Tibbe declined to seek a third term, Democrats did not even field a candidate for the job in November’s general election, surrendering one of only two countywide offices the party holds here. The office will go to one of two candidates seeking the Republican Party’s nomination: Assistant Attorney General Wes Mau, a former First Assistant Hays County District Attorney who went to work in Abbott’s office after losing narrowly to Tibbe in 2006, or to Lynn Peach, a San Marcos defense attorney.
County Court at Law No. 2 Judge Linda Rodriguez, a veteran of 24 years on the bench, is seeking re-election against Republican Assistant Attorney General David Glickler, another Abbott man.
In up-ballot races, the county is still a toss-up, though a Republican-leaning one. In the 2010 gubernatorial election, 20,499 residents (51.6 percent) voted for Rick Perry compared to 17,333 (43.4 percent) who cast ballots for Democratic Party nominee Bill White, the former Houston mayor.
In the two most recent presidential contests, Hays County voters went for Republicans both times over President Obama, but not by insurmountable margins. In 2012, Mitt Romney won 31,661 votes (53.7 percent) against Obama’s 25,537 (43.27 percent); four years earlier, in local Democrats’ high-water mark of the last decade, John McCain still won 29,638 votes (50.2 percent) against Obama’s 28,431 votes (48.2 percent).
Beyond the red-blue paradigm, the county’s voters show a durable contrarian streak. In the 2006 gubernatorial election, with Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman on the ballot as independents, Perry won a bare plurality of 33.9 percent to Democrat Chris Bell’s 31.5 percent. Friedman and Strayhorn won 17.5 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively.
In October, Abbott spoke at the Old Hays County Courthouse in downtown San Marcos. Davis has not held any public events in Hays County since announcing her run for governor on Oct 4.
COVER: Texas Attorney Greg Abbott shakes hands with a journalist during a campaign event in October at the Old Hays County Courthouse in San Marcos. MERCURY FILE PHOTO by JON SHAPLEYEmail | Print