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BURNET — While Christmas and the holiday season are upon us, it’s also another season this year: political.

And the candidates for the March 1 primaries are lining up for your support. This year marks a big political year as the races feature candidates from the White House down to the county courthouse.

Several county races will find voters choosing among a plethora of candidates. Current Llano County Sheriff Bill Blackburn has drawn four challengers for the Republican Party nomination. In Burnet County with current Burnet County Sheriff W.T. Smith not seeking another term, voters will choose between former Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper and Burnet County Justice of the Peace Calvin Boyd and Granite Shoals Police Chief J.P. Wilson.

Still in Burnet County, voters will find a lot of choices in the commissioners’ races. Current Precinct 1 Commissioner Bill Neve and Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronny Hibler are not seeking another term, so this has opened up those spots. In the Precinct 1 County Commissioner race, Jim Luther Jr., Glenn Whitworth and Sam Cox are vying for the nomination. In the Precinct 2 County Commissioner race, it’s a three-way run among Billy Wall, Darrell “Butch” Turner and K. Linvel Baker.

The justice of the peace seats in Burnet County also seem to be a hot ticket with three vying for the Precinct 1 spot and four running for the Precinct 4 spot.

And with State Sen. Troy Fraser retiring, seven people are running for the Republican Party nomination for the District 24 seat.

Voters have a lot of decisions waiting for them at the ballot box this year and not just at the top of the ticket.

You still have time to register to vote before the election, but the deadline is Feb. 1, 2016. Applications are available at the county election’s offices and some county clerk’s offices. Applications are also available at as well as under “Elections Administrator.”

Early voting is Feb. 16-26, 2016, while the Texas joint primary date is March 1. The first day to apply for ballot by mail is Jan. 1, 2016.

The local Republican primaries are the most contested with several people vying for the same nominations, especially the sheriff’s offices.

The candidates are listed below.


U.S. Representative 25

• Kathi Thomas, Democrat

• Roger Williams, Republican

State Senator, District 24

• Brent Mayes, Republican

• Dawn Buckingham, Republican

• Jon Cobb, Republican

• Reed Williams, Republican

• Ryan Downton, Republican

• Susan King, Republican

• Virginia “Jennie Lou” Leeder, Democrat

State Representative, District 20

• Marsha Farney, Republican

• Terry Wilson, Republican

3rd Court of Appeals Justice, Place 2

• Cindy Olson Borland, Republican

3rd Court of Appeals Justice, Place 4

• Melissa Goodwin, Republican

33rd Judicial District Judge

• Allan Garrett, Republican

33rd Judicial District Attorney

• Wiley “Sonny” McAfee, Republican

Burnet County Attorney

• Eddie Arredondo, Republican

Burnet County Sheriff

• Calvin Boyd, Republican

• J.P. Wilson, Republican

Burnet County Tax Assessor-Collector

• Sheri Frazier, Republican

Burnet County Precinct 1 Commissioner

• Glenn Whitworth, Republican

• Jim Luther Jr., Republican

• Sam Cox, Republican

Burnet County Precinct 3 Commissioner

• Billy Wall, Republican

• Darrell “Butch” Turner, Republican

• K. Linvel Baker, Republican

Burnet County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace

• Lynn H. Sheffield, Republican

• Michael Horton, Republican

• Roxanne Nelson, Republican

Burnet County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace

• Bill Worely, Republican

• Larry Berkman, Republican

• Debbie Bindseil, Republican

• Frank Reilly, Republican

Precinct 1 Constable

• Chris Bieze, Republican

• Leslie Ray, Republican

Precinct 2 Constable

• Garry Adams, Republican

Precinct 3 Constable

• James Bryant, Republican

• Jimmy Ballard, Republican

Precinct 4 Constable

• Chris Jett, Republican

• Steve Harris, Republican


U.S. Representative District 11

• Mike Conaway, Republican

State Board of Education, District 5

• Ken Mercer, Republican

• Rebecca Bell-Metereau, Democrat

State Senator District 24

• Brent Mayes, Republican

• Dawn Buckingham, Republican

• Jon Cobb, Republican

• Reed Williams, Republican

• Ryan Downton, Republican

• Susan King, Republican

• Virginia “Jennie Lou” Leeder, Democrat

State Representative District 53

• Andrew S. Muir, Republican

• Stephanie Lochte Ertel, Republican

3rd Court of Appeals Justice, Place 2

• Cindy Olson Borland, Republican

3rd Court of Appeals Justice, Place 4

• Melissa Goodwin, Republican

33rd Judicial District Judge

• Allan Garrett, Republican

33rd Judicial District Attorney

• Wiley “Sonny” McAfee, Republican

Llano County Attorney

• Rebecca Lange, Republican

Llano County Sheriff

• Aimee Overstreet Shannon, Republican

• Bill Blackburn, Republican

• Jack Derington, Republican

• James Schilling, Republican

• Jared S Latta, Republican

Llano County Tax Assessor-Collector

• Kody Wagner, Republican

• Kris Fogelberg, Republican

Llano County Precinct 1 Commissioner

• Peter Jones, Republican

Llano County Precinct 3 Commissioner

• Mike Sandoval, Republican

• Ron Wilson, Republican

• Sue Glover, Republican

Llano County Precinct 1 Constable

• Gary Olfers, Republican

Llano County Precinct 2 Constable

• Richard Harris, Republican

Llano County Precinct 3 Constable

• William (Bill) Edwards, Republican

Llano County Precinct 4 Constable

• Joe B. Simpson, Jr., Republican

Go to, or for more information on voting as well as national, state and local elections.

7 thoughts on “ELECTIONS: It’s political season in the Highland Lakes

  1. While we remain on the topic of politics and the choices before us this election in Burnet County, I wanted to share some comments from Henry Giroux (Google him). Giroux states:

    “It is difficult to watch both Trump and the corporate coverage of his fascistic assaults and actions. What is truly crucial to recognize is that there are ideological, economic, social, political, and cultural forces at work in the United States that have created the formative culture in which this kind of authoritarian populism thrives. Surely, two of the major crises of of our times is the crisis of agency and civic literacy, on the one hand, and the withering of public values, trust, and democratic public spheres on the other, among others. The drumbeat of fascism does not rely on brownshirts but on the collapse of democratic politics, the concentration of power in the hands of the few, the myth the only individuals are responsible for the systemic assaults they have to weather, and that self-interest is the only value that matters. Under such conditions, the social withers, solidarity is replaced by shark like competition, and state violence and the spectacle of violence become normalized. We live in a time of monsters and Trump is simply symptomatic of the financial class he represents.”

    Food for thought as we strive to step out of the comfort of our long held, but possibly, anachronistic political views.

  2. I am disappointed to see a Republican dominated political arena in Burnet County. The obvious health of any community is predicated on diversity in politics, culture, race, and religion.

    The late Alan Paton defines ‘liberalism’ beautifully. The following appeared in the New York Times in 1988; a timeless and meaningful description of what it means to be liberal.

    To the Editor:

    When it comes to redefining the word ”liberalism,” I can think of no better instructor than Alan Paton, author of ”Cry, the Beloved Country.” In a lecture in 1953, he declared himself a liberal, and defined the term thus:

    ”By liberalism I don’t mean the creed of any party or any century. I mean a generosity of spirit, a tolerance of others, an attempt to comprehend otherness, a commitment to the rule of law, a high ideal of the worth and dignity of man, a repugnance of authoritarianism and a love of freedom.” HERBERT KRETZMER London, Oct. 28, 1988

  3. I hope other precinct one voters are offended by Boyd running for sheriff, only a year ago he sought out another four year term as justice of the peace knowing full well he would resign to run for sheriff. Definitely not getting my vote. Also, Chris Bieze for constable? Isn’t he the one who used a taser on a 70something year old woman? Wow.

    1. Perhaps there should be a steering committee of ‘Concerned Citizens’ that can serve as a voice of those who are either unable or too fearful to speak up and out about abuses of power. Such a committee could furthermore address issues of diversity currently absent from this community.

    2. Really? Which one of JP’s minions are you? Ann? Decker? Your rhetoric is getting old.

      1. Definitely nobody’s minion, just stating facts that you can’t seem to dispute so you resort to name calling. Classy.

        1. Why not post the source of your information? Surely, there are news links and/or records.

          I find it interesting that you and your contender don’t use your proper names.

          This suggests a climate of fear and/or dishonesty.

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