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Hays approves bonds, returns incumbents to court

Wednesday, November 5, 2008 by Jacob Cottingham

Hays County voters followed the conventional wisdom on Tuesday night, returning two incumbent County Commissioners and approving a heavily publicized road bond.


Voters resoundingly supported the re-worked road bond, enabling the county to capitalize on a TxDOT reimbursement deal, which many commissioners have described as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to update the infrastructure of the rapidly growing county. Pct. 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe also won her fourth consecutive term to Commissioners Court, handily defeating Republican Nick Ramos, who gained statewide recognition for his “deadly conduct” arrest in September. Ingalsbe got 64 percent of the vote.


In what many anticipated to be the closest race in the county, Pct. 3 Commissioner Will Conley outlasted his Democratic challenger Steve Klepfer to remain the lone Republican on the County Court. Conley won 52 percent of the vote compared to Klepfer’s 43 percent. Libertarian Deborah Wood won 5 percent.


By 9:20pm, Klepfer had conceded to Conley and the latter promptly announced that to his supporters, specifically mentioning the Democrats who had helped the campaign. The election party included a few attendees with Barack Obama T-shirts. Shortly after the announcement, Democratic State Rep. Patrick Rose, who was hosting his own party across the square in San Marcos, visited Conley.


“It was a tough race, he ran very hard, and let’s be honest with each other, it’s a tough year to be a Republican,” Conley said. “There were no coattails. I won this race based off the work I’ve done as a commissioner.”


He said of his Democratic supporters, “I can’t name people because there are so many. I have tremendous support amongst Democrats, tremendous amount of crossover support from independents,” he continued. “At the county level I don’t think we should be running as an R or D. My opponent didn’t really run with any kind of message. It was just a negative campaign to try and run my negatives up and ran as a Democrat… hoping the coattails were long enough to pull him across.” Klepfer did not return calls for a comment from In Fact Daily.


Ingalsbe was pleased to have survived her bizarre double-pronged challenge. She told In Fact Daily she was, “very happy with the outcome… it got a little rough there at the end but we were able to pull through and I’m just happy to get back to work and deal with the important issues that the county is going through.” She did say this campaign differed from others in that “it became so negative. I’m not certain why, I know that politics can be that way at times but I will say I was disappointed in the negative campaign that one of my opponents did.”

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