Your 2018 primary election guide for Comal County and the New Braunfels area

This election cycle has an unusually high number of prominent open races, with eight Texans in the U.S. House opting not to run for re-election, and more than a dozen in the Texas Legislature doing the same.

This election cycle has an unusually high number of prominent open races, with eight Texans in the U.S. House opting not to run for re-election, and more than a dozen in the Texas Legislature doing the same.

Original reporting provided by Alex Samuels, reporter at The Texas Tribune. Supplemental reporting provided by Rachel Nelson, reporter at Community Impact Newspaper.

Early voting for the March 6 primary elections will be underway through March 2, and Comal County Elections Coordinator Cynthia Jaqua encourages residents to exercise their right to vote.

“The primary is the election for nominating who will be on the ballot in November,” she said. “It’s important for a voter—no matter which party [he or she identifies with]—to voice their opinion for who they think should be nominated for that position.”

In Comal County, Jaqua said voter turnout for primary elections usually falls around the 60-70th percentile in the state.

“We live in a county that loves to vote,” she said, but noted the precincts that fall within the city of New Braunfels see the lowest turnout.

Jaqua said the most frequently asked question she receives from residents is where they can go to vote.

The polling locations and hours for Comal County are available here. Click here for Guadalupe County election information.

Other common inquiries come from voters who want to know more about the issues on the ballot or what the candidates stand for.

“We can’t answer that,” she said. "We’re the elections office. We’re the neutral ground. We prepare the ballots. The parties answer any of those questions.”

Jaqua points those people to the Comal County Republican Party or the Democrats of Comal County to explore those questions.

Jaqua said she isn’t aware of any voter fraud cases reported in Texas. If a voter does not have the necessary forms of identification at the polling place, he or she is still able to vote provisionally and given the chance to present the appropriate documents.

Citizens who vote provisionally must fill out a Reasonable Impediment Declaration. Jaqua said in Comal County, she received 100 Reasonable Impediment Declarations in the November 2016 elections and none in the November 2017 elections.

Dates to know
First day of early voting: Feb. 20
Last day to apply for ballot by mail: Feb. 23
Last day of early voting: March 2
Election day: March 6

Voter ID required
Texas voters are required to present one of seven specific forms of photo identification before they may cast their ballots. Voters must present one of the following forms of ID to vote:
1. Texas driver’s license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety
2. Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
3. Texas DPS-issued personal ID card Texas concealed handgun license
issued by DPS
4. U.S. military ID card containing the cardholder’s photograph
5. U.S. citizenship certificate containing the cardholder’s
photograph
6. U.S. passport

With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the ID must be current or have expired no more than four years before being presented at the polling place. Voters can apply for an Election Identification Certificate at no cost at any driver’s license office. Details on how to apply for an EIC are available on the DPS website, www.dps.texas.gov/driverlicense/electionID.htm.

How do I know if I’m registered to vote?
The deadline to register to vote in the upcoming primaries has passed (and Texas doesn’t allow voter registration on the day of an election). If you aren’t already registered, you won’t be able to cast a ballot in this year’s primaries.

Don’t know if you’re registered? Check the Texas Secretary of State’s website. All you’ll need to do is enter your full name, birthdate, zip code and the county you live in.

Of note: There’s no way to register online in Texas, but if you want to make sure you’re set for future elections, you can register in person at your county voter registrar’s office or by filling out a voter registration application online, printing it and mailing it to your county’s registrar.

When does early voting start?
Early voting runs from Feb. 20 through March 2.

Where can I cast my ballot and what polling places are near me?
Using the same portal that voters can use to find out if they’re registered, they can also find their polling location options on election day and during the early voting period.

During the early voting period, voters can vote at any location in the county they are registered to vote in, according to secretary of state spokesman Sam Taylor.

Things work differently on March 6, the day of the primaries, depending on where you live. Some counties participate in the Countywide Polling Place Program which allows voters to vote at any precinct in their county of registration even on the day of an election. For voters in counties who do not participate in the program, they will have to vote in their specific precinct on election day.

The candidates listed in this guide will be on the 2018 primary election ballot in the communities defined by Community Impact Newspaper’s New Braunfels coverage area. Only contested races are listed.

**Name listed on ballot
*Incumbent


Statewide Candidates - Democratic Party
U.S. senator
Sema Hernandez
Edward Kimbrough
Beto O’Rourke
Governor
James Jolly Clark
Cedric Davis Sr.
Joe Mumbach
Adrian Ocegueda
Jeffrey Payne
Lupe Valdez
Tom Wakely
Andrew White
Grady Yarbrough

Lieutenant governor
Mike Collier
Michael Cooper
Comptroller of public
accounts
Joi Chevalier
Tim Mahoney

Commissioner of the
General Land Office
Tex Morgan
Miguel Suazo

Railroad commissioner
Roman McAllen
Chris Spellmon





Statewide Candidates - Republican Party
U.S. senator
Ted Cruz*
Bruce Jacobson Jr.
Mary Miller
Geraldine Sam
Stefano de Stefano
Governor
Greg Abbott*
SECEDE Kilgore**
Barbara Krueger

Lieutenant governor
Scott Milder
Dan Patrick*

Commissioner of the
General Land Office
George P. Bush*
Davey Edwards
Jerry Patterson
Rick Range

Commissioner of
agriculture
Trey Blocker
Jim Hogan
Sid Miller*
Railroad commissioner
Christi Craddick*
Weston Martinez

Presiding judge, Court of
Criminal Appeals
David Bridges
Sharon Keller*
Judge, Court of Criminal
Appeals, Place 8
Jay Brandon
Michelle Slaughter
Dib Waldrip





County and district candidates - Democratic Party
Comal County 25th District Texas
State Senate

Jack Guerra
Steven Kling

21st District House of Representatives
Derrick Crowe
Elliott McFadden
Joseph Kopser
Mary Street Wilson





County and district candidates - Republican Party
Comal County 25th District Texas State Senate
Donna Campbell
Shannon McClendon

Comal County 73rd District House of Representatives Dave Campbell
Kyle Biedermann

Comal County Criminal District Attorney Deborah Linnartz Wigington
Jennifer Anne Owens Tharp
Joseph “Joe” Soane
Steven de Lemos

Comal County Precinct 4 Commissioner
G. Ted Ballard
Jeanne Slupik
Jen Crownover

Comal County Place 2 Justice of the Peace
James Walker
Larry Shallcross

Comal County Place 3 Justice of the Peace
George Green
Mike Rust

Guadalupe County Judge, County Court at Law
Bill Squires
Robin V. Dwyer

Guadalupe County District Clerk
Kristy Dunn
Linda Balk
Lynn Bothe
Teresa Kiel

Guadalupe County County Treasurer
Bill Schwind
Linda Douglass

Guadalupe County County Commissioner Pct. 2
Drew Engelke
Ralph Jack Shanafelt
Randall K. Herzog

Guadalupe County County Commissioner Pct. 4
Daniel Kearns
Judy Cope
T. “Jake” Jacobs

Guadalupe County Justice of the Peace Pct. 2
Chris Aviles
Sheryl Sachtleben

Guadalupe County County Treasurer
Bill Schwind
Linda Douglass

Guadalupe County Justice of the Peace Pct. 3
Gary W. Inmon
John Terry
Zachary “Zach” Mc Bride

35th District U.S. House of Representatives
David Smalling
Sherrill Kenneth Alexander

21st District House of Representatives
Al M. Poteet
Anthony J. White
Autry Pruitt Chip
Roy Eric Burkhart
Foster Hagen
Francisco “Quico” Canseco
Ivan Andarza
Jason Isaac
Jennifer Sarver
Matt McCall
Mauro Garza
Peggy Wardlaw
Robert Stovall
Ryan Krause
Samuel Temple
Susan Narvaiz
William Negley
Eric Burkhart


By Rachel Nelson
Rachel Nelson is editor of the New Braunfels edition of Community Impact Newspaper. She covers local business, new development, city and county government, health care, education and transportation. Rachel relocated to Central Texas from Amarillo in 2009 and is a graduate of Texas State University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication.


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