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Early voting begins for PEC board of directors

PEC incumbent board president James Oakley squares off with challenger Carlos Palisciano during a recent candidates forum that featured the District 5 race. Courtesy photo

PEC incumbent board president James Oakley squares off with challenger Carlos Palisciano during a recent candidates forum that featured the District 5 race. Courtesy photo


JOHNSON CITY — The Pedernales Electric Cooperative is launching early voting May 19-June 10 for two director positions in which one spot pits an incumbent board president against a newcomer.The election is during the annual meeting June 18 in Dripping Springs, where PEC members can vote in person.

For early voting, PEC members can do so by mail or online. For more information and a link to the online ballot, go to

In District 5, incumbent board president James Oakley of Spicewoood faces challenger Carlos Palasciano of Austin.

Palasciano, a Buenos Aires, native, migrated to the United States with his family as a teenager and became a naturalized citizen. He studied Spanish and earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York, and a master’s from the University of Pittsburgh.

He retired from the pharmaceutical industry and moved to Texas from Pittsburgh.

Palaciano’s wife, Sue, is a practicing clinical pharmacist. They have two adult children and live in the Lakeway area.

James Oakley
James Oakley

Oakley is a fifth-generation Texan with family ties to Burnet. He graduated from Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in public relations.

His accomplishments include an appointment by former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and an appointment to the Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) area’s Regional Review Committee for Community Development Block Grants.

Oakley is the current Burnet County administrative judge, elected in 2014. He was elected to the PEC board of directors in 2013 and has been board president since 2015.

Oakley’s wife, Julie, is a CPA and the finance director for the city of Lakeway. They have five children and live on Lake Travis on the Burnet County side of Spicewood.

In District 4, Jim Powers of Dripping Springs, an entrepreneur, is running uncontested. Incumbent Chris Perry, who was elected in June 2010, did not file to run.

Powers owned and operated a grocery store and served as director of family and marriage resources for a nationwide nonprofit. He has served as Hays County judge and on the Dripping Springs planning and zoning commission.

He attended Southwest Baptist University in Missouri.

He and his wife, Maripat, have four adult children and live in Dripping Springs.

oakley and palasciano
PEC candidate James Oakley (left) and Carlos Palasciano answered questions on April 21 during a candidates forum in Johnson City. Courtesy photo

PEC members can vote online at PEC members who registered their email address will receive emails for the secure website with links to the online ballot.

Those who vote early can be entered into random drawings for several prizes, including a home theater package and $100 gift cards.

The annual meeting is at the Dripping Springs High School Performing Arts Center, where the results of the election will be announced. For more information, go to