By LEW K. COHN, Inquirer Publisher
Gonzales District 4 city council candidates Dan Blakemore and Ronda Miller qualified for a run-off after full but unofficial returns from the Tuesday November 2 election.
Meanwhile, the citizens of Waelder voted in small numbers, but overwhelmingly, to approve the increase in the sales tax rate for the city to the full amount allowed by state law.
Blakemore won 50 percent of the early and absent votes (106 of 211 votes) and added 28 more on election day for a total of 134 votes. Ronda Miller finished second with 102 votes in total (67 early and absent votes, 35 on election day), while Thomas Enriquez got 70 votes in total (38 early and absent votes, 32 on election day).
“I want to thank everyone who worked with me and voted for me during this electoral process,” said Blakemore. “Our mission to move Gonzales forward in a positive direction is on track but not over. I ask you to stay the course with me and achieve our goal.
The three candidates were running to replace Rob Brown, who resigned his seat due to Gonzales moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for his company. The District 4 seat has been vacant since July 26 following Brown’s resignation.
City secretary Kristina Vega said city council will hold a special meeting called Tuesday, November 9 to consider the election results and that they should call a run-off between Blakemore and Miller as no candidate received 154 votes, this which would have been one of more than 50 percent of the total votes cast in the race (306).
A second round is expected to take place within 20 to 45 days of being called, so the election could take place any time between Nov. 29 and Dec. 25, Vega said, adding that the council would choose a date for the election. election at the same time they call for the second round.
The second-round winner would serve the remainder of Brown’s tenure until May 2023.
Enriquez said he hopes whoever wins will take voters into account when the time comes to make decisions that impact the district.
“Well, the people in District 4 voted and made their choices and I respect that,” Enriquez said. “I just hope whoever wins this election understands what it takes for the workers who live in the city to survive. I preached a message of less regulation, no taxation, as a recipe for the creation of jobs.
“To the people who voted for me, I want to say ‘Thank you’. To everyone, I say register to vote, run for office, try your luck. Try your luck on the Gonzales change. God protects you.”
Waelder tax choice
Waelder’s town sales tax choice was to allow the town to collect an additional 0.5% of the local general sales and use tax within town limits, bringing the total levy of the town tax. city sale from 1% to 1.5%.
Gonzales County also currently collects a 0.5% sales and use tax, so if the measure is successful, the total sales tax assessed in Waelder will drop from 1.5% to 2%, with effect immediately after the passage.
Waelder’s voters approved the measure by 13 votes to 2.
Constitutional election results
There were also eight proposed constitutional amendments for the state of Texas in the November 2 ballot. The results of these modifications are:
• Prop 1: “The constitutional amendment allowing charitable foundations of professional sports teams of organizations sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association to hold charity raffles at rodeo venues. In Gonzales County, this measure was approved by a vote of 800-219.
• Prop 2: “The constitutional amendment allowing a county to fund the development or redevelopment of transport or infrastructure in unproductive, underdeveloped or devastated areas of the county.” In Gonzales County, this measure was approved by 551-459 votes.
• Prop 3: “The constitutional amendment prohibiting this state or a political subdivision of this state from prohibiting or limiting the religious services of religious organizations. In Gonzales County, this measure was approved by 794-211 votes.
• Proposal 4: “The constitutional amendment modifying the conditions of eligibility for a judge of the supreme court. a judge of the criminal court of appeal, a judge of an appeal court and a district judge. In Gonzales County, this measure was approved by 612-388 votes.
• Prop 5: “The constitutional amendment conferring additional powers on the obsolete Commission on Judicial Conduct in relation to candidates for judicial office. In Gonzales County, this measure was approved by 600 votes to 404.
• Prop 6: “The constitutional amendment establishing a right for residents of certain facilities to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visits. In Gonzales County, this measure was approved by 925 votes to 84.
• Proposition 7: “The constitutional amendment to allow the surviving spouse of a person with a disability to receive a limitation on ad valorem taxes from the school district on the family property of the spouse’s residence if the spouse is at least of the age of death.” In Gonzales County, this measure was approved by 899-118 votes.
• Prop 8: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide an ad valorem exemption from taxation of all or part of the market value of the residential property of the surviving spouse of a member of the United States armed forces who is killed or fatally injured in the performance of his duties. In Gonzales County, this measure was approved by 914 votes to 100.