Conley throws hat into ring for County Judge race

A current Hays County commissioner announced he’s resigning in order to run for the vacant county judge position in 2018.

Last Tuesday, Will Conley, Hays County Pct. 3 commissioner, officially threw his hat into the ring for Hays County Judge. Hays County voters will select a new Hays County Judge in November 2018.

According to a press release, current Hays County Judge Bert Cobb will not seek a second reelection bid. Cobb, who was first elected in 2010 and was reelected in 2014, stepped down from the position in August to begin treatment for Leukemia. Hays County Pct. 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe has conducted court activities in his stead.

Conley was first elected Pct. 3 commissioner in 2004, and was then reelected by a wide margin in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Pct. 3 encompasses San Marcos and Wimberley.

In a letter to Cobb, Conley said he had “nurtured an interest in running for County Judge for quite some time now.”

He added that he felt the timing is right to do so during the current election cycle.

As Conley’s term doesn’t expire until 2020, he must resign his position to run for the office. On Tuesday, Cobb accepted Conley’s resignation and appointed Lon Shell as the interim Pct. 3 Commissioner.

Conley wrote to Cobb in his resignation letter that it had been an honor to serve with him and that during his 13-plus years in office, he has witnessed the changes within the county. Conley wrote he felt he could better serve his constituents as county judge.

“Much of that change has happened in the most recent years,” Conley wrote. “I hope to continue serving the people of Hays County as these changes impact our region.”

During his time in office, Conley was part of Hays County’s partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), which resulted in more than $500 million in upgrades to state highways within the county.

“We have achieved tremendous results with amazing job growth, safer and well-planned transportation, drastically improved public safety, and balanced budgets, while managing some of the fastest population growth in America,” Conley said. “These are critical times and I’m running for county judge to keep up the fight so our families can enjoy a high quality of life for generations to come.”

Conley is also serving his sixth consecutive year as chairman of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), and is the first person outside of Travis County to be elected to lead the regional transportation board in its 43-year history.

There is no timetable as to when a successor for Conley could be appointed to the Commissioners Court dais.

Timothy Stuckey contributed to this report

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