Locally, the Republican Party appears to continue its dominance of elected offices in Comal and Guadalupe counties after Monday’s filing deadline to be placed on the March primary ballot.
Candidate filing for the 2022 party primary elections closed at 6 p.m. Monday, and there were more than a few late developments in what is set to be a busy election cycle.
All the major statewide offices — including governor — are on the ballot, and every seat in the Texas Legislature is up for a vote because of redistricting. That is on top of the usual 36 congressional seats that are on the ballot every two years — plus two new U.S. House seats that Texas received because of population growth in the past decade.
The filings, posted on the Texas Secretary of State’s website, are unofficial until Dec. 23, the first date for names to be drawn for the March 1 primary elections. Runoff elections on May 24 will determine final candidates for the Nov. 8 general election.
There were several 11th-hour developments Monday for the four New Braunfels-area seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, including filings in both parties for the District 21 seat, where incumbent Rep. Chip Roy of Austin faces a GOP primary challenge by Dana Zavorka, an orientation and mobility specialist.
Democrats seeking the District 21 seat include David Anderson Jr. of San Antonio; Coy Gee Branscum of Austin, Ricardo Villarreal of San Antonio, William Scott Sturm of New Braunfels, Cherif Gacis of San Marcos, and Claudia Zapata of Austin.
With District 35 incumbent Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett now seeking the District 37 seat, Alejandro Ledezma, Sam Montoya and Asa George Kent Palagi are seeking the Republican nomination, with Greg Casar of Austin, Eddie Rodriguez of Austin, Carla Joy Sisco and former San Antonio city councilwoman Rebecca Viagran seeking the Democratic nod.
Rebecca Bell-Metereau, incumbent District 5 Board of Education member, faces challenges for the Democratic nomination from Kevin Guico, a nonprofit manager, and Juan Juarez, a school principal.
Once again, most Comal County offices and incumbents are without primary opponents and Democratic challengers next fall —almost assuring them new four-year terms.
They include Judge (Sherman Krause); Commissioners, Precincts 2 (Scott Haag) and 4 (Jen Crownover); Criminal District Attorney (Jennifer Tharp); Treasurer (Renee Couch); County Clerk (Bobbie Koepp); District Clerk (Heather Keller); Justice of the Peace, Precincts 1 (Tom Clark); 2 (James “Rick” Walker) and 3 (Mike Rust); 274th District Court Judge Gary Steel) and 466th District Court Judge Stephanie Bascon.
In competitive GOP primary races, New Braunfels attorney Tracie Wright-Reneau is one of four GOP candidates who have filed to succeed retiring 207th District Court Judge Jack Robison. Incumbent Randy Gray and Marilee Hazel are vying for County Court at Law No. 1 judge, and Mike Britt and Ashley R. Evans will compete to succeed outgoing Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Jennifer Saunders.
All Republican elected officials up for re-election filed to run again in the county, Guadalupe County Republican Party Chair Karen Hale said.
“I’m pleased that all of those individuals would like to continue to serve the people of Guadalupe County,” she said. “I’m excited by the number of people who don’t serve public office right now who have filed and are interested in serving. It’s exciting.”
She loves the fact the county will remain red, Hale said. It’s a hard job to ensure it stays a Republican-held county, she said.
Hale, up for re-election herself, is unopposed for another two-year term as county chair.
She had a busy day Monday as many candidates reported to her office to file their candidacy paperwork, Hale said. A rush of filings caused a backlog at the Texas Secretary of State’s office, which, in turn, kept some candidates from being posted on the office’s website as having filed, she said.
Officials have until Dec. 23 to complete the filing lists with the secretary of state, Hale said. Guadalupe County candidates who filed with her needn’t worry as she got all of hers in and on the website, she said.
“It’s a relief we’ve gotten that part of it done,” Hale said.
The Democratic Party’s showing in the county for the primary disappointed Democratic county chair Duane McCune, but signs in other areas of the ballot looked positive, he said.
“There are several Democrats running statewide,” he said. “I know we’ve got three people running for Congressional District 15. We have a couple people running against Henry Cuellar in Congressional District 28. I’m just disappointed there are no local races. That’s what tends to bring the people out.”
Only one county race has a Democratic candidate who filed to run and that is for McCune’s very own seat. He is not running again to serve as county chair, but Glenda Henry of Cibolo did file for the position.
McCune said he initially ran years ago to bring stability to the position that had seen about three people holding it in about five years.
Henry should make a good replacement, he said.
“My time is up; it’s time for somebody else to fill the bill,” McCune said. “I think she’ll do a great job. She’s very smart, she’s retired military, she’s an RN.”
Republicans running for county offices on the primary are:
• Kyle Kutscher, seeking to retain his post as county judge
• William “Bill” Squires, County Court at Law No. 1
• Kirsten Legore, County Court at Law No. 2
• Incumbent Linda Balk and Shelly Saldivar-Sposari, district clerk
• Incumbent Teresa Kiel and Stacy A. Melton, county clerk
• Linda Douglass, county treasurer
• Drew Engelke, Precinct 2 county commissioner
• Incumbent Judy Cope, Stephen Germann, Joel Hicks and Robert Westbrook, Precinct 4 county commissioner
• Incumbent Darrell Hunter, Kelly M. Cross and Sam (Saundra) Meyer, Precinct 1 justice of the peace
• Sheryl Sachtleben, Precinct 2 justice of the peace
• John D. Terry Sr., Precinct 3 justice of the peace
• Todd Friesenhahn, Precinct 4 justice of the peace
Guadalupe County ballots will see Sara Canady, Vangela Churchill, and Mauro Garza, running for the United States House District 15 seat as Republicans, according to unofficial information posted on the Texas Secretary of State’s website..
Democrats seeking nomination for the seat are Eliza Alvarado, Julio Garza, Ruben Ramirez, John Villarreal Rigney, Vanessa Stephanie Tijerina and Michelle Vallejo, according to the website.
U.S. House District 28 will see Willie Vasquez Ng andRolando Rodriguez pitted against each other for the Republican nomination.
Incumbent Henry Cuellar, Jessica Cisneros and Tannya Judith Benavides are vying for the Democrat nomination.
Republicans seeking the nod for House District 35 are Alejandro Ledezma, Sam Montoya and Asa George Kent Palagi.
Channon Cain is challenging Donna Campbell for the Texas Senate District 25 seat. On the Democrat side, no candidate filed to run in the primary.
The opposite is true in Texas Senate District 21 where incumbent Democrat Judith Zaffirini is the lone name in the race on either party’s ballot.
Judge Gary L. Steel and Judge Heather Hines Wright are running unopposed in the primary for judicial district 274 and judicial district 456, respectively. No Democrats filed in the primary for the seats.
Lori I. Valenzuela is the only Republican on the ballot for her spot as 4th Court of Appeals Justice in place 7. Rebecca Beckie Palomo is the only name the Texas Secretary of State listed running on the Democratic primary for the 4th Court of Appeals, Place 7 nomination.
Mark Loewe is the only Republican running in the primary for State Board of Education District 5. Conversely, a pair of rivals lined up against Democratic incumbent Rebecca Bell-Metereau for the seat.
She faces Kevin Guico, Juan Juarez.
District 10 Board of Education member Tom Maynard is running unopposed in the primary and the Democrats failed to field a candidate.
Some pretty crowded fields dominate the top of the statewide ballots for March’s primary.
Republican’s battling for the nomination for governor are incumbent Greg Abbott, Paul Belew, Danny Harrison, Kandy Kaye Horn, Don Huffines and Allen B. West.
Democrats seeking the nomination for the gubernatorial race are Inocencio (Inno) Barrientez, Michael Cooper, Joy Diaz, Jack Daniel Foster Jr., Deirdre Gilbert, R. Star Locke, Beto O’Rourke and Rich Wakeland.
Challenging Lt. Governor Dan Patrick for his job are Republicans Trayce Bradford, Daniel Miller and Aaron Sorrells. Democrats hoping to make it to the general election for lieutenant governor are Michelle Beckley, Carla Brailey and Mike Collier.
George P. Bush, Louie Gohmert and Eva Guzman are Republicans challenging incumbent Ken Paxton in the race for state attorney general.
Democrats hoping to reach the November ballot for state attorney general are Mike Fields, Rochelle Mercedes Garza, Joe Jaworski, Lee Merritt and T-Bone Raynor.
The Texas Tribune contributed to this article.