Few contested local races remain on Tuesday’s ballot
by Chip Latcham and Jeff Latcham
Nov 01, 2012 | 2060 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With less than a week to go, early voting interest in the general election in Bee County has been steady.

Mirella Escamilla Davis, county clerk in charge of elections, said, “There are a lot of young, first-time voters and there’s been a lot of activity.”

She said that 239 votes were cast by personal appearance last Saturday at the courthouse, “not as many as we had expected,” adding that “could have been due to the (cold) weather or the fact that no political rallies were held.”

However, with another 303 early votes Monday, the unofficial total climbed to 2,488 cast by personal appearance. As of Monday, a total of 784 early ballots had been mailed out and 551 have been returned.

“We’re still about 1,200 personal appearance early votes cast less than in the last presidential election (in 2008), but we still have a week to go,” Davis said. “And the last two to three days of early voting are always heavy.”

Early votes will be accepted by mail until Election Day – they are due in by Nov. 6, the county clerk’s office reported. The last day to vote early by personal appearance is Friday. Election Day will be Tuesday.

Our choices in the national, state and district races appeared in last Wednesday’s edition. Only three contested county races appear on the ballot.

For county attorney, Juan Eduardo Garcia, the Republican challenger, is going against Mike Knight, the incumbent Democrat.

Knight has many friends and family members in the community, and probably will be difficult to unseat by the young, inexperienced assistant district attorney who is not as well known here. However, some have suggested that Knight has not been assertive enough to keep the county out of legal difficulties (remember the Perry’s Building deal) and noted that few county court cases have gone to trial in recent years, along with a large number of dismissals.

For those reasons, we will go with Garcia.

For sheriff, both Bill Lazenby (R) and Carlos Carrizales Jr. (D) are decent, experienced, honest lawmen.

We respect both for the fine jobs they did at the Beeville Police Department (Lazenby as chief and Carrizales as detective lieutenant). Since then, Carrizales has many accomplishments as sheriff, including clearing the Hickman murder case and procuring Border Star Operations funds. Yet, Lazenby has gained valuable experience regarding gangs, drugs and other crimes as lead investigator for the TDCJ prison units here and as bailiff for the courthouse.

If one believes the sheriff and his personnel have done a commendable job, then Carrizales should be returned for another term. If one believes more should be done to make the community safer and the office more accessible, then vote for Lazenby.

In the race for county commissioner, Precinct 3, we believe Eloy Rodriguez (D), the incumbent, again will be returned to office.

His opponent, Dennis Phipps (R), also is a veteran and served in Vietnam (as well as in Iraq), but Rodriguez has been a longtime advocate for veterans issues and is dedicated to his constituents and community.

– Chip and Jeff Latcham
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