Meet your local candidates


The filing window for local elections officially closed on Friday, Feb. 14. Local elections include city council, school board, hospital district and the underground water district. Though several of the races in Gonzales County will have contested seats, many of them did not draw challengers and the elections will likely be canceled.

Both candidates up for reelection on the Gonzales City Council refiled and also drew challengers. Place 3 Councilman Bobby O’Neal will face Jace Opiela, while Place 4 incumbent Dan Blakemore drew a challenge from Rob Brown.

Two of three alder members up on the Nixon City Council refiled, but one did not. Dorothy Riojas will remain the mayor and Maggie Gaytan will retain her seat on council. Councilman Mark Soto did not refile. There were no outside challengers and the election will likely be canceled. Nixon City Council will have to appoint someone to fill Soto’s expiring seat.

Only the incumbents filed for the Waelder City Council. Mayor Roy Tovar, Councilwoman Peggy Blackmon and Councilman Robert Tovar will all remain on council and the election will likely be canceled.

The Smiley City Council’s composition will look different after May. The mayor drew an opponent, while two applications for the soon-to-be-vacated seats were received. Mayor Michael Mills refiled and will face former Mayor Ellis Villasana. Wayne Dauer and Paul Elder will be appointed to council. Councilwomen Willie Ann Canion and Kathy Whitehead declined to refile. No other applicants filed.

One of the three seats up on the Gonzales Independent School District Board of Trustees will be contested. All of the current board members refiled. District 5 Trustee Ross Hendershot III drew a challenger in Christina Price. Glenn Menking and Sue Gottwald are uncontested and will retain their seats.

One seat on the Nixon-Smiley Independent School District School Board drew two opponents, while the other up is uncontested. All current board members up for election refiled. Place 4 Member William Griffin will square off against Chris Villasana and Loyce Rice. Place 6 Member Aly Tshoepe will retain her seat.

Two of the Gonzales County Underground Water Conservation District board members up for reelection refiled, while one did not. No outside challengers filed. Precinct 4 Member Barry Miller and Precinct 5 Member Kermit Thiele Jr. refiled while Bruce Patteson did not. The board will have to appoint someone to fill Patteson’s expiring seat.

The Waelder Independent School District Board of Trustees and Gonzales Healthcare Systems Board of Directors elections will likely be canceled due to a lack of challengers. All current board members up for election refiled and are uncontested. For Waelder ISD, those board members are President Dora Noyola and Vice President Diana Olmos. For the Hospital Board, those members are Precinct 1 Lisa Gindler, Precinct 2 Kenneth Gottwald, Precinct 3 Gregory Tieken and Precinct 4 Wayne South.

Election day for local political subdivisions is set for May 2, 2020.