By Andy Sevilla
Democrats lost their last countywide seat in Hays County Tuesday night after incumbent Linda Rodriguez fell to Republican challenger David Glickler in a County Court at Law race that withstood a 2010 GOP takeover.
Rodriguez was the Democrats’ last chance at a countywide holding, but the incumbent lost to Glickler by more than 2,300 votes.
Hays County Judge Bert Cobb breezed through to victory over Democratic challenger Abel Velasquez with nearly 58 percent of the vote, according to the county’s unofficial records.
Most countywide offices in Hays, already held by Republicans, went uncontested; and those with Democratic challengers remained in GOP hands after Tuesday night’s election.
In Buda, voters returned incumbents back to office and approved five bond propositions aimed at improving city infrastructure, roads, drainage and parks.
Place 6 council incumbent Bobby Lane narrowly edged out his opponent Greg Henry by six votes to continue his 14-year public service. Place 5 incumbent Eileen Altmiller maintained a 92 vote lead over challenger Evan Ture after the unofficial election results were returned.
Lane said “It’s quite a relief” to have won reelection Tuesday night. He said he wasn’t able to campaign as he normally would have due to family health issues, but is thankful that voters reelected him.
“I think it’s a reflection of the changing demographics in Buda,” he said of his small margin victory. “I did see a lot of young voters in Buda today, and I applaud them for coming out regardless of who they voted for.”
Altmiller, who was seeking to return for a second term, came out on top Tuesday night.
“I am pleased that I will have a chance to work with this council again,” she said. “… It’s been wonderful knowing I have the support of some very, very good people.”
Altmiller also said she’s excited all five bond propositions were approved by voters and now the council can move forward with the work ahead to improve and prepare Buda for the future.
Ture, who hoped to unseat Altmiller, said it was a “very big bummer” that he fell short Tuesday night.
“I want to congratulate Eileen and I look forward to meeting with her – we both agreed we’d meet after the election regardless of who won – and chat about our ideas for the city, and what’s important to us and looking to the future,” he said.
More than 2,200 Buda voters took to the polls in the election, but many faced unrelenting challenges Tuesday, as the electronic voter machines were improperly functioning throughout the day.
When the polls opened at 7 a.m. only one voter machine was working while the others failed to connect to the system, Hays County Elections Administrator Joyce Cowan said.
Despite the hiccup, Cowan said 66 people cast ballots in the first hour in Buda, though some voters left as they had to rush to work. Later in the day, the voter machines malfunctioned again and remained offline for about an hour, though technicians were able to get them back up and running.
Many voters braved the heavy rains and windy night to cast their ballot, with the last Buda voter finishing up after 9 p.m.
Hays County Emergency District No. 5 lost a request for a higher sales tax collection inside unincorporated areas within its boundaries.
And despite Hays County voters within the Austin Community College district voting down the school’s two bond propositions and a tax cap increase, the $386 million bond proposals for new construction and renovation projects, including at the Hays campus, were approved district-wide, but the tax cap increase failed 51-49 percent.