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Hearing on PEC election complaint May 1

Randy Klaus

Randy Klaus is a former Pedernales Electric Cooperative board director and a retired certified public accountant for the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Courtesy and staff photos

District Judge Allan Garrett of the 33rd Judicial District ordered a hearing to consider a possible temporary restraining order halting the Pedernales Electric Cooperative Board of Directors election for districts 2 and 3. The request was filed by former board member Randy Klaus on Monday, April 24, after the PEC’s Qualifications and Election Committee deemed he was unqualified to run for the District 3 seat. 

Garrett signed the order for a hearing on Wednesday, April 26. It is set for 1:30 p.m. May 1 at the Burnet County Courthouse Annex, 1701 E. Polk St. in Burnet.

The QEC considered seven potential candidates for the two positions and recommended five. The slate of candidates was approved by the board during its regular meeting April 21 in Johnson City.

“We are aware that Mr. Klaus has requested a hearing date and we will respond to his claims accordingly,” reads a statement for a PEC spokesperson sent to when asked for a reaction to the order. “There are no temporary restraining orders or injunctions in place at this time. PEC will continue to move forward in accordance with our Bylaws and procedures. Ballots have been sent for printing and voting will begin May 16.”

Candidates approved for the PEC ballot were incumbent Emily Pataki and challenger Carlos St. James for District 2 and incumbent Mark Ekrut and challengers Michael Guess and John Hoffner for District 3. 

Voting is open to co-op members in those two districts from May 16-June 9. Election results are expected to be released on June 13. 

Klaus served on the PEC board from 2017-20. He resigned during an executive session on Feb. 21, 2020, “under duress,” he told earlier this year. 

After resigning, he filed for re-election, but the QEC found him ineligible. Current board President Ekrut was elected to that seat at the time. 

The QEC is made up of cooperative members representing each of the PEC’s seven districts. They are chosen by the current board member of each district and tasked with vetting candidates. The April 5 vote against Klaus was 6-0 with one district absent.