by ANDY SEVILLA
In a suspenseful race, Pct. 2 Constable James Kohler crawled to victory with 52.71 percent of the vote, beating challenger Ron Hall by 592 cast ballots.
“I said I knew I’d win a tenth term, and I did,” Kohler said shortly after getting news that he had been re-elected.
But Kohler’s victory was anything but certain after the early vote results were reported. He barely secured the early vote with just over a 2 percent advantage of the 6,187 ballots cast in the race preceding Election Day.
“People vote for me who are my friends, and (people) vote for me if they don’t like me, because they know I’ll do my job,” Kohler said.
Hall pulled out 5,164 total votes, but trailed Kohler in the absentee, early and Election Day votes.
Hall, who ran uncontested in the Republican primary, is the police chief in the city of Bertram. He has 18 years of law enforcement experience at the city, county and state levels.
Hall was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday night.
“He (Hall) needs more money from the sheriff and his chief deputy to beat me,” Kohler said. “Because they really put it on him.”
Hall’s wife, Debra, said she was nervous about the election late yesterday afternoon in a telephone interview.
Kohler’s largest margin of victory was on Election Day with an almost double-digit advantage of ballots cast at 54.94 percent, or 2,362 votes. Hall received 45.06 percent of the Election Day vote, with 1,937 votes.
Kim Hilsenbeck contributed to this report.