Enjoy all your local news and sports for less than 6¢ per day.

Subscribe Now

Thurman wins Horseshoe Bay mayor’s race; incumbents snag council seats

Elise Thurman

Elsie Thurman, pictured at a candidates forum in October, defeated Donald Beeman to become the fourth-ever mayor of Horseshoe Bay on Nov. 7. Staff photo by Nathan Bush

Horseshoe Bay voters elected Elsie Thurman as the city’s fourth-ever mayor on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Thurman defeated opponent Donald Beeman, 1,427 votes to 894, according to unofficial results from elections offices in Burnet and Llano counties. The city is in both counties.

“Obviously, I’m thrilled,” said Thurman, who currently serves as Horseshoe Bay mayor pro-tem. “I am very grateful and gratified by the confidence that the community has shown me. I will work very hard to do the best job that I can.”

In the race for the two seats on the Horseshoe Bay City Council, incumbents Jeff Jones and Frank Hosea defeated challenger Larry Morgan. The final unofficial tally was 1,130 votes for Jones, 1,062 for Hosea, and 905 for Morgan.

The mayor’s race turned divisive in this small town of fewer than 5,000 people following a litany of election-related controversies, including an anonymous letter sent with city mail that disparaged Beeman’s character, a high-dollar political action committee formed by part-time residents to sway voters’ opinions, the public banning of Horseshoe Bay Property Owners’ Association board members and Beeman — who is the board president — from Horseshoe Bay Resort amenities for alleged financial misconduct, and a subsequent $1 million lawsuit filed by the resort against Beeman and the POA.

Donald Beeman on Election Night
Donald Beeman (right) addresses supporters at an Election Night party at his home on Nov. 7. Staff photo by Nathan Bush

“You’re going to learn about politics if you’re running for mayor,” Beeman told the morning after the election. “Guess what? I got a master’s degree in (politics) in the last 30 to 40 days.”

Thurman hopes to move past the “mudslinging” described by Beeman as she prepares to be sworn in January.

“My first priority is to put all of the disputes behind us and bring us back to the community that we are,” she said.

As for Beeman, the mayoral challenger said he plans to hold city officials accountable.

“I’m going to serve the community, currently as the president of the Horseshoe Bay Property Owners’ Association,” he said. “There’s a lot of things that we still need to accomplish, and we’re going to work diligently on that. I just want the best for our city.”

Additional reporting by Dakota Morrissiey