Voters began heading to the polls Monday for early voting in elections that will decide the Texas governor, state representatives, U.S. representatives, Court of Appeals justices and more.
Voters also will decide on an Austin County bond referendum of up to $17 million for the construction, acquisition and equipment of a justice center and emergency services facility.
Early voting runs through Nov. 2, and polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 6. A complete guide with polling locations and sample ballots is posted at sealynews.com.
Austin County Tax Assessor-Collector Kim Rinn reported that a record number of voters – 746 – cast ballots on the first day of early voting.
Although County Judge Tim Lapham, County Court at Law Judge Daniel Leedy, District Clerk Sue Murphy, County Clerk Carrie Gregor, County Treasurer Bryan Haevischer and District Attorney Travis Koehn appear on the ballot, they are running unopposed.
No Sealy City Council or school board seats are up for grabs in the Nov. 6 election.
Voters in the Brookshire area will get to cast a ballot for school board members who wish to represent Royal ISD. Eight candidates have filed for four seats, including the following:
Place 1 – Darrell Fountain and incumbent Joseph Campos.
“I am running for school board position 1, because I want to share my time, experience, and talents to help benefit the community I live in,” Fountain said. “Second, if anything needs to change, I would like to participate in it, and be a part of the solution, and not the problem. Thirdly, my hopes for Royal ISD is to help raise the educational and technical support to help aid our students to a brighter and better future.”
Campos could not be reached for comment at press time.
Place 2 – Adrian Rocha and incumbent Cheri Fontenot.
Rocha, a Sealy ISD coach and English Second Language teacher, grew up in the Royal school system and graduated in 2005.
“I was at Royal first and the door opened for me to come to Sealy,” he said. “It was just time. I’ve got friends and family members there … I got the green light and it’s been something I’ve always wanted to do to promote the positive changes they’ve been going through.”
Rocha said he wants to contribute to change and show the community the importance of education.
Fontenot could not be reached for comment.
Place 3 – incumbent Scott Hartman and Mike Glover.
Scott Hartman, a 53-year-old self-employed businessman has been a part of the school board for the last eight years and has seen plenty of progression across the district, including in their nationally-recognized STEM campus.
"We want to continue toward a better state grade ... We're aiming to be A-rated."
He added that he is looking to transfer that growth to every campus in Royal ISD.
“This will be a very important election not only at the local level but also from the national standpoint,” he said. “We want to make sure that people get out and use their God-given right to go vote."
He finished by stating that the board has aimed to "be prepared to help any child who may transfer to our district," in order to push them to achieve whatever success they're looking for post-graduation.
Glover could be reached for comment.
Place 4 – incumbent Nathaniel Richardson Jr. and Angie Ibarra.
Neither candidate could be reached for comment.