Russell Graeter will not seek re-election

Lew K. Cohn/The Highlander

Russell Graeter announces he will not seek a fifth term as Burnet County Precinct 2 Commissioner.




By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Burnet Bulletin

Burnet County Precinct 2 Commissioner Russell Graeter stunned his colleagues Tuesday morning, Sept. 26, when he announced he would not seek re-election to a fifth term next year.

Graeter made his announcement during public comments at the regular Commissioners Court meeting.

“County Judge (James Oakley), fellow commissioners, citizens of Burnet County and especially to my constituents of Precinct 2, it is with much consideration, mixed emotions and many prayers that I have decided to not seek re-election of Burnet County Commissioner Precinct 2,” Graeter said.

“As you have heard me say through the years, 'I love my job.' I have had the privilege of serving some amazing people. It has been very rewarding and many major accomplishments have been made during my four terms as your commissioner.”

Graeter thanked his family, friends, the Commissioners Court, his crew and constituents “for the many years of support and trust you have given me.”

“I want to state this is not a retirement, just the close of a chapter in my career as County Commissioner Precinct 2,” Graeter said. “I am looking forward to the next opportunity, whatever that may be.”

Oakley said he was taken by surprise by the announcement and praised Graeter for his leadership, saying he “has been, will be and is a dedicated public servant.”

Graeter was initially elected as a county commissioner in 2002 to represent Precinct 2, which includes Burnet, Bertram, Briggs, and Oakalla. He was re-elected in 2006, 2010 and 2014.

A resident of Precinct 2 for more than 46 years, Graeter first moved to Burnet from Harris County in 1971 when he went to work for the county and started its adult community service program.

Graeter then joined the Burnet Volunteer Department in April 1973 at a time when the city did not have a paid fire department. During his tenure at Burnet VFD, which ended in 2012, he served as an assistant chief, captain and firefighter.

Graeter joined the Burnet County Sheriff's Department in 1988 and served as a patrol officer and investigator, then was elected Precinct 2 commissioner in 2002. He has held several leadership positions on the court.

Graeter also was instrumental in founding the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Highland Lakes and has been a board member since the organization was formed.

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