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EDITOR’S NOTE: Candidates’ answers have NOT been edited except for spelling and grammar when needed for clarity. does not endorse candidates or candidates’ answers.

Llano County voters in Precinct 3 will choose between Bull Guthrie and Brent Richards to serve as their county commissioner. None of the three candidates in the Republican primary race in March received more than 50 percent of the vote, leading to a runoff on May 28. Early voting is May 20-24.

Richards received the highest number of votes in the March 5 primary election with 360 to Guthrie’s 256 and Karen Shaw’s 196. The most densely populated precinct in the county, Precinct 3 takes in most of Kingsland. 



My name is Bull Guthrie and I am running for Pct. 3 Commissioner in Llano County. I have a Master’s Degree in psychology, I am a retired chief of police, and current Realtor with Landmaster’s Real Estate in Kingsland. Having been appointed by several commissioners courts, I have extensive knowledge of county governance, budgets, crime control, and bond issues.


I am a retired licensed professional engineer with 29 years of experience in right-of-way infrastructure. My first 12 years were spent working for three different cities in three different counties as a staff representative to the city planning commissions. In the absence of the city engineer, I attended the city council meetings as the staff representative. I then left the public domain and went to work for a private civil and traffic engineering consulting firm, starting as a senior project engineer for three years, moving up to vice-president of the firm. I believe that every job is a service job and my desire is to share my experience and to serve the residents of Kingsland. I have been a resident of Llano County for the Last 14½ years, living in precincts 2, 3 and 4. I moved to Precinct 3 in September of 2021, over 2½ years ago.


Kingsland, which is in Precinct 3, has a unique set of issues that sets it apart from the rest of the county. What do you see as the biggest issue facing Kingsland, and how would you deal with it as a commissioner? 

GUTHRIE: This race is about the future of Kingsland and Llano County. I am a fourth-generation Texan, and my family was part of the “Old 300” who settled in the area. My opponent is a Californian and his camp has stated that Llano County does not need any “good ole boys.” Well, “Good ole boys” won Texas’ independence, carved out the Hill Country, and made it safe from outlaws and Indians so that people could come enjoy a quiet lifestyle.  

RICHARDS: For me to serve the Kingsland residents if elected, I need to meet with the residents in a town hall atmosphere in order to find out what the residents of Kingsland see as the issues that need to be addressed by the county commissioners. I feel that those meetings need to occur every two months or so in order to serve the community correctly. 

With that said, I have received complaints regarding trash and junk cars being collected on various properties and a need for facilities to take the trash to. I also understand that there is a difference between collectible cars being stored on properties and junk cars, so that needs to be kept in mind. Llano County uses the State of Texas Health and Safety Code that has regulations concerning environmental concerns, and there are two environmental agents working for the county.


What do you see as the biggest county-wide issue facing Llano County? Does it conflict with Kingsland’s best interests, and if so, how would you prioritize in a Kingsland versus greater Llano County decision?

GUTHRIE: Kingsland is a densely populated community within a relatively small area that is interconnected to many other neighborhoods and small communities. This presents a couple of issues that are ongoing and, therefore, need ongoing attention. 

Crime and roads. The first thing I would do is to sit down with District Attorney Perry Thomas and Sheriff Marquis Cantu and review the current strategies for Kingsland, if any, and suggest a new, tougher strategy to help reduce violent crimes against persons and property crimes. This would include targeting narcotics dealers by asking for the creation of a multi-agency task force. Narcotics plays the largest role in these violent crimes that Kingsland has seen over the past several years. Until that is addressed, crime will continue to climb, making the area less safe. There are federal and state grants to help with the cost to help ease the taxpayers’ burden.

The second issue is road maintenance. In 2015, I began working with the Texas Senate Transportation Committee and TxDOT to help reduce the destruction of our Texas Highways. I found that overloaded trucks reduce the life of an asphalt road/highway from 20 years to eight or less. Due to increased construction, heavy truck traffic has increased substantially in Kingsland, and enforcement of overloads is a priority to save our roads.

Each Commissioner is elected to represent both their precinct and the county as a whole, as their vote impacts the entire county. My opponent’s camp has stated that Kingsland is not an agricultural community. For the most part, that is true, but Llano County certainly is. Unlike California and its relentless assault on ranchers and “cow farts,” any commissioner not understanding the tax implications to ranchers and continued price increases at the grocery store would do a grave disservice to the county and its citizens.

Although some precincts are less affected, the biggest issue facing Llano County is crime and how to address it. Growth always spurs crime and Kingsland is seeing an increase in both growth and crime. Kingsland has a majority of law enforcement tax dollars as it is reporting the majority of crimes within Llano County. This can sometimes draw the ire of other precinct citizens and leaders. If elected, Kingsland will continue to receive those law enforcement assets as well as new ones.

RICHARDS: Llano County’s biggest concern is the exponential growth that leads to many other issues, i.e., increased needs for the budget, infrastructure, and public safety issues. Kingsland is an unincorporated community and the commissioner’s job is to uphold the legislators’ rules that are continuously diminishing the county’s abilities to intervene. This affects Kingsland in a major way, and Commissioners need to have a voice at all the tables in order for the County to have sound growth structure and stability. Commissioners do not have a say, nor can they voice their opinion as to whether or not a community becomes incorporated or remains unincorporated. That is for the individuals living in the community to determine in the voting booth. The Commissioner’s position can only be to represent what the voters choose and come up with solutions within the restraints of the rules and regulations they are bound to.


Llano County has five civil lawsuits (with more coming at law enforcement) and is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees. The question is, where will this money come from? Llano County is a small-budget county, and these fees can affect future spending. The question is, should we spend it? 

GUTHRIE: Although my opponent has stayed quiet on this issue as to not offend the left, I have not. As the Country becomes more and more controlled by left wing ideologues seeking to destroy any trace of Straight white Christianity and American exceptionalism, it becomes an obligation to fight. Llano and the Texas Hill Country is still a haven for conservatism and Christianity, and I will fight the good fight as long as I am able.  

RICHARDS: There are issues regarding each of the lawsuits that I do not know and will not be made known to me until I become a commissioner. So, for me to address any of the five lawsuits would be done without full knowledge of each suit and that would be negligent on my part. Unfortunately, the times we are in are perilous, and it is unknown as to what will come our way until it does. If a county is sued for monetary damages, the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) will provide representation, and the cost is covered out of the insurance that the county pays. The budget has a professional fee line item, which is appropriated during the budget cycle.


Llano County commissioners are embroiled in two lawsuits that concern the county’s three libraries. They recently voted to approve a library presentation planned for April. In other departments, commissioners defer to department heads for these types of decisions. How much control should the Commissioners Court have over the content and programs in the library system?  

GUTHRIE: Llano County Commissioners, like most commissioners’ courts, defer many decisions to department heads. The department heads should represent the elected commissioners and County Judge’s interests, as the court represents the interests of the citizens. When deferrals prove out as counterproductive to the direction of the commissioners court, the court has a duty to step in and correct those actions. Many large counties hire “administrators.” This is usually a ruse to go against popular consent, then blame the “administrator” for the decision. Llano County Commissioners have done an excellent job keeping tabs on department heads, assuring their rules and decisions are consistent with the will of the voters. This is one of many reasons why Llano County remains a favored place to work, live, and raise a family.

I’m asking for your vote on May 28 in the run-off election.  

RICHARDS: I have been to a number but not all of the commissioner’s court since October, and I have no knowledge of a Library presentation, so I cannot comment on this issue. I do know that the commissioners did turn over a library issue to the head librarian to handle in the past since the job description allows her to handle whatever the issue was, but I have no knowledge of what that issue was.

The questions you are asking are best asked after one has been a commissioner for at least four months in order to give an appropriate response. Anything the commissioners discuss in executive session is confidential until the details are recommended by the council to be made available to the general public.