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Republicans renominate commissioners, shun constable

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Two incumbent Bandera County commissioners won renomination – and likely reelection – from Republican voters in primary balloting last week, but a constable who had served the county for more than 30 years lost his renomination bid by 10 votes to a law enforcement official the constable had defeated four years ago, unofficial returns from the March 3 primaries showed.

The final, unofficial vote totals from the Bandera County Elections office showed that Greg Spengler, a contractor and deputy constable in Medina County, defeated Precinct 2 Constable Ernest Reich III by a count of 461 – 451 in that fast-growing eastside precinct.

Reich has the option of seeking a recount of the numbers but he does not think it is worth the $400 price tag since the county’s current voting system is dependable and finding 11 extra votes will be difficult to do.

“I don’t think anyone is trying to do anything dishonest,” said Reich.

He also said after 30 years in office he was ready to retire and focus his attention on some of the other endeavors he works on.

Reich squared off against Spengler four years ago in the Republican Primary and won by a count of 595 votes to 491 votes, unofficial results then showed.

Spengler, who also is a captain in the Medina Lake Volunteer Fire Department, could not be sure what gave him an edge in this election, but he said he probably was more knowledgeable about the job this go-around than he was four years ago.

He also said he campaigned hard on election day, which resulted in 22 more votes for Spengler than for Reich.

Spengler plans to increase constable patrols in Precinct 2 once he takes the past in January. That was one of the key issues in his campaign.

Even though primaries only nominate candidates to run against candidates from the other major parties in the November election, the Republican votes in the Precinct 2 constable’s race and for the county commissioner’s posts in Precinct 1 and 3 should decide the winners of those posts since no Democrats filed for the offices.

In the Precinct 1 commissioner’s primary, incumbent Bruce Eliker defeated U.S. Army Special Forces veteran and rodeo producer Troy Konvicka by a count of 597-369, while Precinct 3 incumbent Jack Moseley downed Leanne Beauxbeannes, the volunteer coordinator for Bandera County Emergency Management and a longtime community volunteer, by a count of 822-261.

Those numbers are unofficial as well until they are canvassed.

Moseley speculated that his plans to push for an upgrade to Mansfield Park with a roof and other improvement paid for mainly by the sale of naming rights may have boosted his results, while Eliker said his experience on the court and his 34 years of experience with the Texas Department of Transportation could have improved his electoral results.

The term Eliker starts in January will be his fourth as a commissioner, although that tenure had a four-year gap in the last decade when he lost a bid for reelection for one term.

He expects to focus on road and bridge issues during the upcoming term, while Moseley said he hopes to improve the county’s trash abatement capabilities and to work to change legislation affecting how the county’s Hotel Occupancy Tax can be used in the new term, which will be his second.

President Donald Trump faced six opponents in the Republican Primary, but easily outdistanced the field in Bandera County, winning almost 4,000 votes or 95.8 percent of the total.

That was about 1.8 points better than Trump did in balloting across Texas, according to unofficial returns.

On the Democratic side in the county, former Vice President Joseph Biden was the top vote getter in the race for the presidential nomination, which had 17 names.

Biden claimed 443 votes in Bandera County to 281 for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and 170 for former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, unofficial totals showed.

Biden also was won the race for the nomination statewide with 34.5 percent of the vote, followed by Sen. Sanders with almost 30 percent of the vote.