Bastrop County: 2020 Primary Elections Voter Guide

Feb 13, 2020

If you live in Bastrop County, here are all the races that might appear on your ballot for either the Democratic or Republican primary. Put your address into the tool below to find out which Congressional, state legislative and State Board of Education districts you're in, then scroll down to find the candidates in those races.

If you don't find your districts listed below, that means they're not up for election in 2020. 

Federal

U.S. Senate

Every state in the U.S. elects two people to represent them in the U.S. Senate, which is the upper chamber of Congress. They are elected statewide for six-year terms. Texas Sen. John Cornyn’s term is up for re-election this year. About a dozen Democrats are vying to challenge him in the November election.

 

U.S. House of Representatives

Texas has 36 seats in the House of Representatives, which is the lower chamber of Congress. The total number of representatives is currently set at 435; the number of seats a state is given is based on population. The average population in a congressional district, based on the 2010 census, is 710,767. That number will change with the 2020 census. Representatives are elected for two-year terms. 

Texas’ 10th Congressional District covers parts of Northern and East Austin — including parts of Manor — and stretches to parts of Bastrop and all the way to northwestern parts of Houston. 

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, who has held this seat since 2005, is running for re-election. There are three Democrats vying to challenge him in November.

State

Texas House

This is the upper chamber of the state Legislature. It consists of 31 members, each representing about 800,000 Texans. They are elected to four-year terms. Along with the Texas House of Representatives, the state Senate drafts and passes state laws, policies and budgets. The Legislature meets for 140 days during odd-numbered years, though the governor can call special sessions outside that time frame. 

House District 17 includes all of Bastrop, Lee, Caldwell, Gonzales and Karnes counties.

Texas Supreme Court

The Texas Supreme Court is the court of last resort for civil cases involving state law. Those are cases that deal with lawsuits between people, businesses and organizations – as opposed to criminal cases. Legal decisions made by the state Supreme Court are final and binding under state law.

The court is made up of eight justices and one chief justice, who are elected to six-year terms in partisan statewide elections. Four places on the court are up for election this year. 

Chief Justice: While the chief justice oversees the court, each member has one equal vote in issuing decisions. The chief justice assigns the other justices administrative duties, like who will run disciplinary proceedings for lawyers and who will be the court’s liaison to the state bar. The chief justice also appoints judges to cases, if lower court judges have to recuse themselves. Every legislative session, the chief justice delivers a “state of the judiciary” address to Texas lawmakers.

Justice, Place 6

While each state Supreme Court justice is assigned a “place,” they are elected statewide. The place designation has no significance beyond where they are listed on the ballot.

Justice, Place 7

While each state Supreme Court justice is assigned a “place,” they are elected statewide. The place designation has no significance beyond where they are listed on the ballot.

Justice, Place 8

While each state Supreme Court justice is assigned a “place,” they are elected statewide. The place designation has no significance beyond where they are listed on the ballot.

Railroad Commission 

Don’t let the name confuse you, the Railroad Commission of Texas has nothing to do with railroads. The name is just a throwback to a time when it did.

Nowadays the Railroad Commission regulates the powerful oil, gas and mining industries in Texas. It is responsible for ensuring pipeline safety, enforcing rules over drilling and production, and overseeing natural gas utilities, among other things. As such, it is often at the center of battles over public safety and the environment.

The commission is overseen by a three-member Board of Railroad Commissioners who are elected statewide. One of those seats is on the 2020 ballot. 

State Board of Education

The State Board of Education oversees education policy and standards for public schools. The board’s tasks include overseeing state funding, establishing graduation requirements for high schools, choosing instructional materials and adopting curriculum standards.

The 15 members of the board are elected by district — each representing about 1.8 million people — to four-year terms. 

SBOE District 10 includes Williamson and Bell counties, as well as parts of Travis, Freestone, Waller and Burnet counties.

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

This is the highest criminal court in Texas, with ultimate say over criminal appeals, including death penalty cases. Judges on the nine-judge panel are elected statewide to six-year terms.

Place 3

Place 4

Place 9

Third Court of Appeals

This is, unshockingly, an appeals court – meaning it hears cases after they've been ruled upon and one party thinks the ruling isn't right. This six-justice panel hears both civil and criminal cases from an area that covers 24 counties including Austin and surrounding areas.

The chief justice of this court is up for election this year. 

Bastrop County

District Judges

District courts have countywide geographical jurisdiction, and the district judges are elected countywide to four-year terms. District courts are trial courts of general subject-matter jurisdiction. They hear felony criminal prosecutions, suits for divorce, election contests, juvenile cases, and civil suits with an amount in controversy of at least $200 with no ceiling.

21st Judicial District

  • REPUBLICANS: Carson Campbell*
  • DEMOCRATS: None

335th Judicial District

423rd Judicial District

Bastrop County Sheriff

The county sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer of Bastrop County. The sheriff enforces traffic regulations, operates the county jail, investigates crimes and makes arrests. 

Bastrop County Tax Assessor-Collector

Bastrop County Commissioner

County commissioners draft and pass policies for the county, much like city council members do for a city. There are four county commissioners in Bastrop County, plus the county judge, who is elected countywide. Three seats on the commission are up for election this year.

Precinct 1 represents mostly the center of the county, including the City of Bastrop.

Precinct 3 represents the southwestern edge of the county, bordering east Travis County. It includes the neighborhoods of Stony Point and High View Ranch.

Precinct 4 represents the northern tip of the county, including the City of Elgin.

  • REPUBLICANS: Paul Mogonye, Donna Snowden*
  • DEMOCRATS: Cheryl Renee’ Reese

Bastrop County Constable

A constable is a commissioned peace officer, elected by county constituents every four years for a particular area or precinct of that county. A constable may enforce any criminal and civil law or motor vehicle violation and conduct criminal investigations. 

Precinct 1 represents mostly the center of the county, including the City of Bastrop.

  • REPUBLICANS: Wayne Wood*
  • DEMOCRATS: None

Precinct 2 represents most of eastern Bastrop County, including the City of Smithville.

  • REPUBLICANS: None
  • DEMOCRATS: August “Gus” Meduna*

Precinct 3 represents the southwestern edge of the county, bordering east Travis County. It includes the neighborhoods of Stony Point and High View Ranch.

  • REPUBLICANS: Tim Sparkman*
  • DEMOCRATS: None

Precinct 4 represents the northern tip of the county, including the City of Elgin.

* incumbent