District 4 Gonzales City Council candidates Dan Blakemore and Ronda Miller have advanced to a runoff election after complete but unofficial returns from the Tuesday, Nov. 2, election.
Meanwhile, the citizens of Waelder voted in small numbers, but overwhelmingly, to approve increasing the sales tax rate for the city to the full amount allowed by state law.
Blakemore won 50 percent of the early and absentee vote turnout (106 of 211 votes) and added 28 more on election day for a total of 134 votes. Ronda Miller was second with 102 votes total (67 early and absentee, 35 election day), while Thomas Enriquez received 70 votes total (38 early and absentee, 32 election day).
“I want to thank everyone that worked with me and voted for me during this election process,” Blakemore said. “Our mission to move Gonzales forward in a positive direction is on track but not completed. I'm asking you to stay on course with me and complete our goal.”
The three candidates were running for the opportunity to replace Rob Brown, who resigned his seat due to moving out of Gonzales to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for his business. The District 4 seat has been vacant since July 26 following Brown’s resignation.
City Secretary Kristina Vega said the City Council will hold a special called meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 9, to canvass the election results and they are expected to call for a runoff election between Blakemore and Miller since no candidate received 154 votes, which would have been one more than 50 percent of the total votes cast in the race (306).
A runoff election would have to be held within 20 to 45 days after it is called, so the election could be held anytime between Nov. 29 and Dec. 25, Vega said, adding the council will choose an election date at the same time they call for the runoff.
The winner of the runoff election would serve out the remainder of Brown’s term until May 2023.
Enriquez said he hopes whoever wins will heed the voters when it comes time to make decisions that impact the district.
“Well the people of District 4 have voted and made their choices and I respect that,” Enriquez said. “I just hope whoever wins in this election understands what it takes for the working folks that live in the city to survive. I preached a message of less regulation, no taxation, as a recipe for job creation.
“To the people who voted for me I want to say ‘Thank You.’ To everyone I say register to vote, run for office, take a chance. Take a chance on change Gonzales. God Bless.”
Waelder tax election
The City of Waelder’s sales tax election was to authorize the city to collect an additional 0.5 percent in local general sales and use tax within the city limits, bringing the city’s total sales tax levy from 1 percent to 1.5 percent.
Gonzales County also currently collects a sales and use tax of 0.5 percent, so if the measure is successful, total sales tax assessed within Waelder will increase from 1.5 percent to 2 percent, effective immediately after passage.
Waelder voters approved the measure by a 13-2 vote.
Constitutional election results
There were also eight proposed constitutional amendments for the state of Texas on the Nov. 2 ballot. Results for those amendments are:
• Prop 1: "The constitutional amendment authorizing the professional sports team charitable foundations of organizations sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Women's Professional Rodeo Association to conduct charitable raffles at rodeo venues." In Gonzales County, this measure was approved by an 800-219 vote.
• Prop 2: "The constitutional amendment authorizing a county to finance the development or redevelopment of transportation or infrastructure in unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted areas in the county." In Gonzales County, this measure was approved by a 551-459 vote.
• Prop 3: "The constitutional amendment to prohibit this state or a political subdivision of this state from prohibiting or limiting religious services of religious organizations." In Gonzales County, this measure was approved by a 794-211 vote.
• Prop 4: "The constitutional amendment changing the eligibility requirements for a justice of the supreme court. a judge of the court of criminal appeals, a justice of a court of appeals, and a district judge.” In Gonzales County, this measure was approved by a 612-388 vote.
• Prop 5: "The constitutional amendment providing additional powers 10 the Stale Commission on Judicial Conduct with respect to candidates for judicial office." In Gonzales County, this measure was approved by a 600-404 vote.
• Prop 6: "The constitutional amendment establishing a right for residents of certain facilities to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visitation." In Gonzales County, this measure was approved by a 925-84 vote.
• Prop 7: "The constitutional amendment to allow the surviving spouse of a person who is disabled to receive a limitation on the school district ad valorem taxes on the spouse's residence homestead if the spouse is years of age or older at the time of the person's death." In Gonzales County, this measure was approved by an 899-118 vote.
• Prop 8: "The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services of the United Slates who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty." In Gonzales County, this measure was approved by a 914-100 vote.