Democrats win Hays County JP races / Koch takes Kyle council seat

UPDATE – 1:00 a.m. 

A pair of incumbent Democrats secured their spots on the bench in the Pct. 2 and 5 Justice of the Peace races Tuesday. 

Beth Smith, who has served as the Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace for over 20 years, defeated Republican James Kohler by a wide 28 percent margin, according to unofficial, final results. 

Smith held a large lead over Kohler, a former Hays County Constable, after early voting results were released, with the advantage maintaining once Election Day numbers came in. Nearly 53 percent of the more than 29,000 registered voters participated in the JP2 race. 

Block walking was a key component for the victory, Smith said. She also felt she was able to get straight-ticket Republican voters to “cross-over,” which she appreciated. She also was able to meet many more prospective voters during the lead-up to the race. Smith said she was excited and thankful for her supporters. 

“I feel honored, absolutely,” Smith said. “I’ve got a lot of great comments and texts and everyone has been positive about the whole thing, and I’m ready to serve again.” 

Meanwhile, Democrat Scott Cary held off Republican Karen Marshall to win reelection to the JP5 seat. 

Cary, who has served for more than 10 years, defeated Marshall by 1,409 votes. Cary said his record of service and roots in the community were key factors that led him to the win. 

“I’m glad the people of Hays County are going to trust me to be the Justice of the Peace for four more years,” Cary said. 

Unofficial, final results 

Hays County JP2 

Beth Smith – 9,932 (64.26%)

James Kohler – 5,524 (35.74%)

Hays County JP 5 

Scott Cary – 7,438 (55.23%)

Karen Marshall – 6,029 (44.77%)

UPDATE – 9:49 p.m. 

With 35 of 50 precincts reporting, incumbent Democrat Beth Smith has a wide 4,000-plus vote margin over Republican James Kohler in the Hays County Justice of the Peace Pct. 2 race.

Smith, who held a large lead after early voting results, expanded her advantage with a handful of Election Day ballots having been counted.

Meanwhile, in the race for the Justice of the Peace Pct. 5 seat, incumbent Democrat Scott Cary’s lead over Republican Karen Marshall has diminished to roughly 1,100-plus votes.

Beth Smith (D) – 8,689 (64.65%)
James Kohler (R) – 4,751 (35.35%)

Scott Cary (D) – 6,857 (54.64%)
Karen Marshall (R) – 5,693 (45.36%)

UPDATE – 7:30 p.m. 

Democratic incumbents Beth Smith and Scott Cary lead in their respected Justice of the Peace races, according to Hays County early voting results.

In the Justice of the Peace Pct. 2 race, Smith has accumulated 7,651 votes compared to Republican James Kohler’s 4,192.

Meanwhile, Cary leads Republican Karen Marshall by 1,320 votes in the race for the JP5 seat.

Hays County JP2:

Beth Smith(D):7,651 (64.60%)

James Kohler(R): 4,192 (35.40%)

Hays County JP5:

Scott Cary(D): 6,102 (56.06%)

Karen Marshall(R): 4,782 (43.94%)


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