Runoff in play for Republicans

Nolasco, Arnim will square off again, Hernandez wins Democratic nomination

Meghann Garcia

Managing editor

Three proved to be a crowd Tuesday when two contested local races in the Republican Party primary election were forced into a runoff while decisive victories were made in two-candidate contests within both parties.

The Republican Party’s contests for Uvalde County Sheriff and Pct. 6 constable failed to give any of three candidates more than 50 percent of the vote.

Of the 16,947 registered voters eligible to participate in the primary elections, 5,281 voted.

In the sheriff’s race, current Uvalde County sheriff’s deputy Ruben Nolasco earned the most votes, with 1,144, for 48.33 percent, over second-place finisher, former Department of Public Safety official Otto Arnim. Arnim received 1,018 votes for 43.01 percent.

They were trailed by Fabian Villasana, who received 205 votes, or 8.66 percent.

Nolasco expressed excitement over his performance in the race and said he was thankful for voter support across the county.

“I appreciate all of those who took time out of their busy life to pray, support and vote for me in the primary race,” Nolasco said. “We came out ahead in votes but lacked the percentage to claim a win. With 29 continuous years of law enforcement experience and a diversified background, I believe I’m well qualified to handle the responsibilities as your next sheriff.”

In the Democratic Party, current Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District lieutenant Mike Hernandez, who formerly held the same rank in the Uvalde Police Department, won the party’s nomination with 1,569 votes for 60.16 percent over former sheriff’s deputy Armando M. Garcia. Garcia received 1,039 votes for 39.84 percent.

In the November general election, Hernandez will face the winner of the Republican Party’s runoff.

“I can never thank my community and my family enough for getting me through this leg of the race,” Hernandez said on his campaign page on Facebook. “There is still work to be done to see this through the general election in November, but tonight I am absolutely humbled and so grateful for those who took the time to vote.”

In the Utopia/Concan area, incumbent constable Jim Mangum finished in second-place with 188 votes, or 38.84 percent, behind challenger and investigator Bob Cook, who received 203 votes for 41.94 percent.

Christoper Chaney received 93 votes, for 19.21 percent.

Precinct 3 constable is decided by residents of Uvalde County voting precincts 3 and 4.

The Democratic Party did not field a candidate for the position, so the runoff victor will assume the office come January 2021.

Decided contests

In the Republican Party primary, real estate agent Bill Dozier bested UCISD staff member Diana Olvedo-Karau, 354 to 163, with 68.47 of the vote in the Pct. 1 Uvalde County Commissioner race. Dozier will go on to face local business owner John Yeackle in the November general election. Yeackle did not have an opponent in the Democratic Party primary.

Pct. 1 includes voting precincts 1 and 12.

Also on the Republican side, incumbent Pct. 3 Uvalde County Commissioner Jerry Bates defeated challenger Morris Killough, a Utopia real estate agent, 693 to 407, with 63 percent of the vote.

Pct. 3 includes Uvalde County voting precincts 2-5 and 11.

The Democratic Party did not field a candidate for Pct. 3 commissioner.

In the Democratic Party primary for Uvalde County tax assessor/collector, Sylvia Flores Uriegas received 1,391 votes, or 54.12 percent, over former official Margarita “Maggie” Del Toro’s 1,179 votes. Uriegas will face incumbent Rita Cordova Verstuyft, the sole Republican candidate, in November.

Also on the Democratic ticket, challenger Emmanuel Zamora, an instructor at the Middle Rio Grande Law Enforcement Academy and former Uvalde Police Department and Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office employee, handily defeated longtime incumbent Pct. 6 constable Robert Moss, winning 484 votes, or 65.14 percent, over Moss’ 259.

Pct. 6 includes voting precincts 10 and 13.



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