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GOP primary candidates speak out

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Five of six Republican candidates in two Commissioners’ Court races and one constable race in Bandera County addressed the Bandera County Republican Women about their candidacies at the organization’s Thursday, Jan. 2, meeting.

Attending the meet-the-candidate session were Jack Moseley, the incumbent Precinct 3 county commissioner, Leanne Beauxbeannes, a candidate for the Precinct 3 commissioner seat, Troy Konvicka, candidate for the commissioner’s seat in Precinct 1, incumbent Precinct 2 Constable Ernest Reich III and his opponent for renomination to the constable’s post, Greg Spengler.

Bruce Eliker, Bandera County Precinct 1 County Commissioner, also is seeking renomination in the March 3 Republican Primary but could not attend Thursday’s session.

Moseley was the first to speak. He told the large crowd that he was born in Bandera, went to local schools and graduated from high school in 1969.

The Precinct 3 commissioner is the Commissioners’ Court’s liaison for Mansfield Park because the venue is in that precinct.

Moseley said he had been working on plans to improve Mansfield Park even before he got on Commissioners’ Court three years ago.

“I got an $18,000 grant from the Bandera EDC (Economic Development Corp.) to do an economic study of Mansfield Park and what it means to the community,” said Moseley.

The study showed the park generated $3.2 million in economic impact with six events. Moseley said he believes the park can host a lot more than just six events each year.

Moseley’s opponent, Beauxbeannes, also has plans for Mansfield Park if she is elected Precinct 3 commissioner.

The volunteer coordinator and rural addressing coordinator with Bandera County Emergency Management is focusing on the park’s condition.

“To start with, I envision a freshly painted entrance with native landscaping and more friendly signs that don’t start with ‘no,’ ‘no this’ and ‘no that’,” Beauxbeannes said.

The former park ranger at the Hill Country State Nature Area also said she would replace the “shabby” restrooms at Mansfield and push to have a “park host,” who would perform maintenance at the park.

Konvicka, the challenger for the Precinct 1 commissioner’s post, said he was in the U.S. Army for 22 years and now is operations director at Warriors Heart.

“I always want to help people, so I decided to run for public office,” said Konvicka. “I want to help keep Bandera the way it is. I grew up here and did rodeo at Mansfield and Twin Elms. I want to be a voice for the community.”

Constable Reich, who moved to Lakehills with his wife Brenda in 1984, said the constable’s post is a full-time job, something that he puts long hours into daily and on weekends when needed.

“I work closely with sheriff’s department and other constables to reduce crime. In addition to many law enforcement certifications, I have more than 3,891 hours of training with TCOLE (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement),” Reich said.

Reich’s opponent, Spengler, talked about the details of the constable’s position but took less time than the other candidates in making his statements.

“A constable can do a lot more the things than serving papers. They can do a lot of the same things as other law enforcement agencies,” said Spengler, a contractor who has lived in Precinct 2 for 20 years and has been a volunteer firefighter for almost 10 years.

“There is a lot of mail theft in Precinct 2, and I have some ideas on how we can approach that and other issues,” the candidate said.

The winners of the Republican Primaries for the local offices are all but guaranteed election to office since no Democrats or third-party candidates filed to run for those posts.

Write-in candidates can still file to run but would face a difficult time defeating the Republican nominees in a county that has voted strongly Republican in recent elections.

The deadline to register to vote in the March primary is Feb. 3. The early voting period for the primary will be Feb. 18-28.