GOP ready for the primaries

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

Taking part in the GOP ballot drawing in Burnet County were, front row from left, Janet Parker, Jennifer S. Freel, Missy Bindseil, Karrie Crownover, Jane Marie Hurst and Damon Beierle. Second row are Ryan Rowney, Jeff Sellers, Tom Stephens, Carey Headrick, Brandon Smith and Casie Walker. Back row are Roxanne Nelson, James Oakley, Lisa Whitehead, Debbie Bindseil and Donna Holland Wilcox. (See a photo album on the Facebook page for The Highlander for all the scenes of the evening: http://bit.ly/2Cl6BjU )

 

 

 

 

 

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

 

With only two local races contested Burnet County Republican Primary, most of the candidates who attended the primary ballot order drawing Thursday night will move straight through the General Election into office.

“We have no local candidates from the Democrats,” said Donna Wilcox, county Republican chairwoman, brightly.

The gathering at the Burnet County Courthouse had the tone of the passing of the guard. Although Burnet County Clerk Janet Parker has no opposition, she said this would be her last race. She tearfully expressed her love for her job.

“I took office in 1991, but I came to work for the county in 1983,” Parker said. “After my next term, it will have been almost 40 years and time to step down. For now I have a few more goals I want to achieve. There's work to be done.”

Russell Graeter, who will not run again as commissioner of Burnet County Precinct 2, saw the candidates for his position, Ryan Rowney, Tom Stephens and Damon Beierle draw places, 1,2 and 3 respectively.

“I'd like to be a voice in choosing the person who represents the precinct,” said Graeter, saying he would give his successor all the help possible. “But I will still be working as long as I am able, you can count on that.”

Peggy Shell Simon will not run again for Burnet County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace. The ballot order for candidates for the seat are, in the order drawn for the ballot, Jane Marie Hurst, Carey Headrick and Jeff Sellers.

“Next year will be my 28th year,” said Simon. “I ran three times opposed and four times unopposed and beat five men. I could do it again, but in the next race I would be 18 days away from 75.”

She reminded the crowd that she started out winning as a Democrat.

“Everybody was then,” she said, recalling the county's radical swing in party affiliation. “I just got tired of dancing by myself.”

Casi Walker , unopposed for Burnet County District Clerk, drew her first place on the ballot for form from the Republican red cap held by Mary Jane Avery, the county's party vice chairwoman, chairman of Precinct 1 and president of the Burnet County Republican Club. But she took the opportunity to thank the party and her supporters for bringing her to a point where she has drawn no opponents.

Wilcox introduced a candidate of sorts, just for the Burnet County Republican Party. Brandon Smith will be on the local ballot to replace George Pangborn as Precinct 1 chairman.

“He will start coming to our meetings in January to become familiar with the executive committee,” she said. “And he's only in his 30s.”

Other candidates running unopposed in the March 6 primary include:
* Precinct 4 County Commissioner — Joe Don Dockery (I)

* County Treasurer — Karrie Crownover (I)

* County Court at Law Judge — Linda Bayless (I)

* Precinct 4 Constable — Missy Bindseil (I)

* Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace — Roxanne Nelson (I)

* Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace — Lisa Whitehead (I)

* Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace — Debbie Bindseil (I)

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