Election predictions: Local and not-so-local

Of Cabbages and Kings
by BOB BARTON

Early voting for the Republican and Democratic primaries got underway Monday in Kyle, but there were more volunteers holding signs at mid-day than there were folks standing in line to vote.

Most of the interest is, as expected, in the Republican contest, which has a very expensive television battle occurring. Those ads don’t appear to have reached the hearts of anyone holding up signs at the polls.

As a hard-shell Democrat I won’t be a part of that primary, but I join some of my coffee shop R’s in my disdain for promoting our lightweight Lt. Governor, or for that matter, the loud-mouth ex-SMU star  Craig James, who is best known for  running off a good Texas Tech coach to the position of U.S. senator. Tom Leppert, the former mayor of Fort Worth, actually had a pretty good record as an actual office-holder, but he probably won’t make the run-off.

On the Democratic side the choice is easy. Paul Sadler of East Texas was a star in the state legislature, and an expert on school finance and governmental affairs. He has no big money behind him, but he would make a top-notch senator. Don’t vote for Grady Yarbrough. He ain’t no kin to Ralph, and can’t even spell his name right.

The Republican presidential primary is over before it ever got to Texas, so “Oops” is down the drain and has been for months. Ron Paul will, I predict, run ahead of everyone but Romney in this county, unless some colonists from outer-space come back and, in great numbers, vote for their moonbeam Newt Gingrich.

Most Democrats will go with the president, although some will go for Bob Ely on the hopes he is kin to Joe, who belts out good songs on the radio. Congressman Lloyd Doggett will carry his portion of Hays by a large margin, and  deservedly so. San Antonio already has four or five congressmen.

Ditto  as a winner will be James Kohler. He’s a throw-back to earlier political days, but he has been a good neighbor for better than 40 years and I trust him.

In the other two congressional districts, look for Lamar Smith to win easily. The run-off in the congressional district that reaches to Fort Worth will be between the two who are best funded.

In the race for the state senate district that includes Hays County, the contested race could end up with incumbent Jeff Wentworth beating challengers Donna Campbell, who has some local backing, and Elizabeth Ames Jones, who claims to be a big proponent of property rights, but somehow managed to dispatch someone to put a sign on my family’s fence without permission. Practice what you preach, lady!

The big fight for sheriff on the R side appears to be close. Tommy Ratliff has strong support in the Kyle-Buda area and Gary Cutler is toughest in the Hill Country. San Marcos will determine the outcome.

Sam Brannon has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at Will Conley and some are saying Brannon may run strong in the Wimberley area, where he has some Democratic support. Conley, I predict, will win.

There will be a run-off for district judge, with one of the Hays County candidates vying against one of the Comal county lawyers. That’s not a very bold prediction.

Early voting will be held in Buda this Friday and Saturday and again on the following Friday. Kyle has already had two early voting days, but will hold forth again Saturday and next Monday. Both are operated at the city halls. The primaries are on Saturday, June 29.

bob@haysfreepress.com

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