Republicans sweep county commissioner races

An early voting deficit wasn’t enough to keep incumbent Hays County Pct. 3 Commissioner Lon Shell from securing his seat on the dais Tuesday. 

Shell, a Republican who has served as Pct. 3 commissioner since December 2017, outlasted Democrat Jimmy Alan Hall by a narrow 45 votes, according to unofficial, final results. Votes will be canvassed by Hays County Commissioners at a later date. 

Hall led the Pct. 3 race by 153 votes after early voting numbers were released. However, Shell rallied back on Election Day by securing 31 more votes than Hall. In all, more than 21,000 of the 33,708 registered voters in Pct. 3 won. 

Meanwhile, Republican Walt Smith held off a pair of opponents to claim victory in the Hays Count Pct. 4 race. 

Smith, a political strategist, finished with 11,513 votes to Democrat Omar Baca’s 10,296. Write-in candidate Jon Thompson had 587 total votes, according to unofficial, final results. 

Smith snagged an early 782-vote lead after early voting, which slightly ballooned with Election Day numbers. 

Smith will fill the role of Ray Whisenant, who opted to forgo a reelection bid. Whisenant served two terms on the commissioners court, beating Karen Ford in 2010. 

In the race for Hays County Pct. 2 Commissioner, Republican Mark Jones secured his third term in office by defeating Democrat Richard Cronshey. 

Jones held a six-percent lead over Cronsey after early voting, which held after Election Day numbers came in. 

Hays County Commissioner Pct. 4 

Walt Smith (R) – 11,513 (51.41%)

Omar Baca (D) – 10,296 (45.97%)

Jon Thompson (w) – 587 (2.62%)

Hays County Commissioner Pct. 3 

Lon Shell (R) – 10,048 (50.11%)

Jimmy Alan Hall (D) – 10,003 (49.89%)

Hays County Commissioner Pct. 2 

Mark Jones (R) – 10,751 (53.38%)

Richard Cronshey (D) – 9,390 (46.62%)

Update – 10:30 p.m.

Pct. 3 incumbent Shell has won his county commissioner seat by a slim margin. With 50.11 percent of the vote, Shell will remain in his position and secured a loss for Democrat Jimmy Alan Hall according to unofficial final results.

Republican candidate and incumbent Jones will also keep his seat as Pct. 2 commissioner with a 8.2 percent lead over opponent Cronshey.

The open seat for pct.4 was anyone’s game after former commissioner Republican Ray Whisenant decline to run again. Republican candidate Smith will take Whisenant’s place after securing a 5.44 percent lead.

The ratio of three republicans to one democrat on the commissioners court will remain the same after this election, with Democrat and Pct. 1 commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe remaining the only Democrat.

The results for these races will not be final until canvassed at a later date.

County Commissioner Pct. 2

Republican Mark Jones: 54.10%

Democrat Will Cronshey: 45.90%


County Commissioner Pct. 3

Republican Lon Shell: 50.11%

Democrat Jimmy Alan Hall: 49.89%


County Commissioner Pct. 4

Republican Walt Smith: 51.41%

Democrat Omar Baca: 45.97%

Jon Thompson (W): 2.62%


Update – 9:29 p.m.

With more votes trickling in, Republicans are still holding their lead in all county commissioner elections. Smith’s lost 1.26 percent of his votes, but remains ahead of competitors Baca and Thompson.

County Commissioner Pct. 2

Republican Mark Jones: 54.10%

Democrat Will Cronshey: 45.90%


County Commissioner Pct. 3

Republican Lon Shell: 50.79%

Democrat Jimmy Alan Hall: 49.21%


County Commissioner Pct. 4

Republican Walt Smith: 49.68%

Democrat Omar Baca: 47.65%

Jon Thompson (W): 2.67%


Update – 8:08 p.m.

Incumbent Republican Pct. 2 and Pct. 3 County Commissioners Mark Jones and Lon Shell have taken slight leads against their Democratic opponents, while Republican Walt Smith has a slight edge over Democrat Omar Baca for the open seat in Pct. 4, according to early voting results. 

Jones currently has a 6.26 percent lead over Democrat Richard Cronshey in the Pct. 2 Commissioner’s race, while Shell has less than a 1 percent lead over Democrat Jimmy Alan Hall for the Pct. 3 seat. Smith has a 4.71 percent lead over Baca so far, according to early voting results.

Hays County

County Commissioner Pct. 2

Republican Mark Jones: 53.13%

Democrat Will Cronshey: 46.87%


County Commissioner Pct. 3

Republican Lon Shell: 50.04%

Democrat Jimmy Alan Hall: 49.96%


County Commissioner Pct. 4

Republican Walt Smith: 50.94%

Democrat Omar Baca: 46.23%

Jon Thompson (W): 2.83%


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