Candidates running for office in Comal County say they’re thrilled by last week’s high voter turnout and have plans for leveraging that momentum during the second week of early voting.
All of them are pleased with how smoothly things are working at the polls.
Stephanie Phillips, a Democrat running to replace incumbent Republican Kyle Biedermann for Texas House District 73, said her volunteers will now spend more time searching out new voters like retirees who’ve just moved into new subdivisions, college students who go to school in San Marcos but live in Comal County, and residents living in underserved communities.
“We’re working to engage voters that truly represent the makeup of this district in terms of young voters and diversity,” she said.
Phillips is teaming up this week with Colette Nies, Democratic candidate for Comal County Commissioner Pct. 3, and Lindsey Poisel, Democratic candidate for Comal County Commissioner Pct. 1, to put up yard signs, pass out campaign literature, and coordinate volunteer shifts.
Despite long lines and warm temperatures, Poisel thinks Comal County voters are motivated.
“From what I have observed, people were generally in good spirits while waiting to cast their vote,” she said. “When my husband and I were voting last week at the Community Resource and Recreation Center of Canyon Lake (CRRC), we saw people helping others and being respectful of everyone there. This was truly great to see. From what I have witnessed and heard from others in the community, it appears that people are extremely excited to vote this year.”
Her opponent, incumbent Donna Eccleston, Republican County Commissioner Pct. 1, agrees. She said she’s very proud of St. Francis by the Lake Episcopalian Church and the Commmunity Resource and Recreation Center of Canyon Lake (CRRC) for allowing county to use their facilities for early voting.
To qualify as a site, facilities need strong internet and must be ADA-compliant.
“That church, St. Francis by the Lake, didn’t have to allow us to use their beautiful new hall,” Eccleston said, adding that pollworkers also have stepped up.
“Everybody pitches in, no matter what it takes all of us,” she said.
Running for office is like working two jobs, Eccleston said.
Serving on Commissioners Court remains her primary focus.
Incumbent Pct. 3 Comal County Commissioner Kevin Webb said he was pleased to see voters make sure their voices are heard and their votes are counted. Record turnout overall is a “good thing for Comal County.”
He said he returned to walking neighborhoods this evening — which “remains the best part of campaigning.”
“People have been very supportive and their kind words and wishes mean so much to me,” he said. “…Reconnecting with people after not being as social these past few months, and talking about our bright future is very humbling and makes me so proud to be allowed to do what I do here. I’m very grateful to play even a small role in helping to keep this the safe, beautiful, thriving place it is.”
Webb also said he’s proud of how Comal County’s Elections Office is handling what appears to be record turnout at the polls, which he describes as “professional, sanitary and safe.”
Jerrie Champlin, who manages publicity for the nonpartisan League of Women Voters of the Comal Area (LWVCA), said her organization is encouraged by the fact Texas leads the nation in votes cast to-date.
“Our mission is to empower and inform voters to increase turnout and participation in our democracy,” she said. “Keep up the good work, Texans.”
Ada Conlan, LWVCA’s vice president of Voter Services, said she also commends residents who voted early last week or via mail-in ballots.
“Early voting is a great option to continue to live safely in today’s COVID-19 environment,” she said.