STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY
BURNET — As many as three candidates have announced they plan to seek the Republican nomination for the Burnet County Precinct 2 county commissioner seat as the current commissioner, Russell Graeter, announced he will not seek re-election.
Graeter has served four consecutive terms since 2002.
“The budget is in great shape. The county is in great shape,” Graeter said. “Over the years, we’ve gotten (the crews) good equipment to work with. They’re very dedicated hard workers.”
Graeter said a growing field of challengers influenced his decision.
“When you have a small community, and everybody is friends with everybody, and you have people who insist on running for the position, you’re really starting to split votes between friends and family. I don’t want to put my friends in that position,” the commissioner said.
Precinct 2 covers the northeast portion of the county, including Bertram, Briggs, Oakalla, and part of the city of Burnet.
“I love my job so much and worked so hard. I want to continue to work towards getting a great predecessor,” he said of his intent to follow the race closely.
The Republican candidates who have announced their intent to seek the nomination so far are: Damon Beierle, who owns an entertainment company; Ryan Rowney, a rancher about to retire from the Lower Colorado River Authority, where he worked with infrastructure; and Tom Stephens, a volunteer first responder/paramedic and former worker in the safety-related field.
Filing for the March primaries goes from Nov. 11 to Dec. 11. The Texas Republican and Democratic primary elections are March 6, 2018.
The winner of the primary election (barring a runoff) will go on the Nov. 6, 2018, general election ballot.
The county elections will be in November 2018.