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Eccleston Fends Off Smith in Republican Primary

Donna Eccleston, Comal County's incumbent Precinct 1 commissioner, fended off challenger Richard Smith in Tuesday's primary election. She will face Democrat Lindsay Poisel in November.

Comal County Precinct 1 Commissioner Donna Eccleston narrowly defeated Richard Smith in the Republican primary on Tuesday and will square off against Democrat Lindsay Poisel in the November general election.

Eccleston, who represents a portion of the Canyon Lake area, won with 52.1 percent of the vote.

Canyon Lake’s incumbent Precinct 4 Constable Shane Rapp defeated challenger Jerry Airola in the Republican primary with 76 percent of the vote.

Comal County officials said overall turnout in the primaries was just under 30 percent or about 10 percentage points less than in 2016 when both parties had contested presidential races.

“The lack of a truly contested Republican primary at the presidential level showed in the breakdown of ballots cast in each party’s primary,” according to a post on Comal County’s Facebook page. “Just 68 percent were for Republicans, well below the 84 percent cast in 2016 and the 81 percent in 2018.”

Only 31,666 of the county’s 106,505 registered voters cast ballots in the primary election.

GOP ballots declined more than 25 percent from the 29,000 cast in 2016.

More than 10,000 voters cast ballots in the Democratic primary, nearly doubling the party’s previous high four years ago.

Both parties will have runoff elections in May.

Final Results from Key Comal County Races

Republican Party

Tax Assessor-Collector
• Kristen Hoyt – 11,372 (57.2%)
• Patrick Aten – 8,494 (42.8%)

Precinct 1 Commissioner
• Donna Eccleston (i) – 3,069 (52.1%)
• Richard K. Smith – 2,824 (47.9%)

Precinct 1 Constable
• Charlie Motz – 3,769 (67.4%)
• Christopher Braun – 1,823 (32.6%)

Precinct 3 Constable
• Craig Ackerman (i) – 1,193 (57.0%)
• Scott Head – 899 (43.0%)

Precinct 4 Constable
• Shane Rapp (i) – 4,859 (76.0%)
• Jerry Airola – 1,532 (24.0%)

433rd District Judge
• Dib Waldrip (i) – 14,309 (71.7%)
• Charlie Sullivan – 5,647 (28.3%)

Democratic Party

• Joe Biden – 3,620 (36.2%)
• Bernie Sanders – 2,411 (24.1%)
• Michael Bloomberg – 1,393 (13.9%)
• Elizabeth Warren – 1,296 (12.9%)

U.S. Senate
• MJ Hegar – 2,952 (33.7%)
• Amanda Edwards – 1,295 (14.8%)
• Sema Hernandez – 926 (10.6%)
• Chris Bell – 827 (9.5%)

U.S. Representative, District 21
• Wendy Davis – 5,758 (84.5%)
• Jennie Lou Leeder – 1,060 (15.6%)

Other Area Races

Precinct 3 Commissioner Kevin Webb, who was unopposed in the primary, will face Democrat Colette Nies, who also was unopposed.

The only countywide local race that was contested in the primary was for tax assessor-collector. With no Democratic nominee in the race, Kristen Hoyt will be sworn in on Jan. 1.

Likewise, the winners of three constable races (Precinct 2 Constable Mark Cheatum was unopposed) do not have Democratic opponents in November: Charlie Motz will replace retiring Precinct 1 Constable Ben Scroggin, while Precinct 3 Constable Craig Ackerman and Precinct 4 Constable Shane Rapp won re-election.

On the Democratic side, Comal County saw the same pattern as Super Tuesday voting across the country: Bernie Sanders did better among early voters, while Joe Biden did better among Election Day voters. And in Comal County, Democratic voters mostly waited for Election Day — only 40 percent voted early, a record low. As a result, Biden won the county with 36 percent of the vote to Sanders’ 24 percent.

Democrats will choose between MJ Hegar, who finished first both in Comal County and statewide, and one of Royce West and Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, who are neck and neck for second place, in the race to challenge John Cornyn for his U.S. Senate seat.

Democrats also will pick a nominee for railroad commissioner between Chrysta Castañeda and Beto Alonzo; the winner will face Jim Wright, who defeated incumbent Ryan Sitton in the GOP primary.

Republicans will choose between Robert Morrow and Lani Popp as their nominee for District 5 on the State Board of Education. The winner will face Democrat Rebecca Bell-Metereau.

Republicans along the I-35 corridor in eastern Comal County also will choose between Jenny Garcia Sharon and Guillermo Hayward to challenge incumbent District 35 U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett.

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