Caldwell County: 2020 General Election Voter Guide

Oct 14, 2020

Lee esta historia en español. 

If you live in Caldwell County, here are the races that could appear on your ballot in the 2020 general election. Residents of other counties can find their voter guides here.

Find out which U.S. congressional, state legislative and state Board of Education districts you live in below. Then, scroll down to find the candidates in those races and more.

If you don't see your districts listed below, that means they're not up for election in 2020. Early voting is Oct. 13-30, and Election Day is Nov. 3. You can find polling locations in Caldwell County here.

*Signifies incumbent

Federal

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

The president is the head of state of the United States of America and the head of the nation’s government, as well as the commander in chief of military forces. The president appoints Supreme Court justices, federal judges, Cabinet members and ambassadors to other nations, all of which are subject to approval by the Senate. The president also recommends legislation to Congress. 

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. 

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Texas has 36 seats in the House of Representatives, 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. Representatives are elected for two-year terms. 

Texas’ 35th Congressional District includes parts of six counties. Running from the eastern part of Travis County down to the eastern part of Bexar County. The incumbent is Democrat Lloyd Doggett. Doggett was first elected to Congress in 1994. Because of redistricting, he’s been shuffled around to three different districts, the 10th, 25th and currently the 35th. He’s seeking a 14th term.

State

TEXAS SENATE

This is the upper chamber of the Texas 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 Texas 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. 

Senate District 21 runs from the Rio Grande Valley all the way up to the southeastern part of Travis County.

TEXAS HOUSE

The Texas House is the lower chamber of the state Legislature. It consists of 150 members, who are elected every two years. Along with the state Senate, the House 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. 

RELATED | Hey Voter, The Texas Supreme Court Has Seats To Fill, Too

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. 

Justice, Place 6

Justice, Place 7

Justice, Place 8

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 districts — each representing about 1.8 million people — to four-year terms. 

District 5 includes Blanco, Caldwell, Comal, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Hays, Kendall, Kerr, Llano, Mason, San Saba and parts of Bexar and Travis 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. 

Caldwell County

DISTRICT CLERK

The district clerk is elected to four-year terms and supports the district courts in the county by keeping records of court pleadings and other documents.

  • Republican: Juanita Allen*
  • Democrat: Sandy Riojas

CALDWELL COUNTY SHERIFF

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

CALDWELL COUNTY TAX ASSESSOR-COLLECTOR

The county tax assessor-collector calculates property taxes and collects taxes for Caldwell County. Apart from gathering state and county fees, the tax assessor-collector also registers voters and issues motor vehicle licenses.

CALDWELL COUNTY CONSTABLES

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 No. 1 covers the central part of the county, including the southwestern part of Lockhart. 

  • Republican: None 
  • Democrat: Victor “Smitty” Terrell* 

Precinct No. 2 covers the southern and eastern part of the county.

  • Republican: Tom Will*
  • Democrat: None

Precinct No. 3 covers the western part of the county.

  • Republican: Michael Bell*
  • Democrat: None

Precinct No. 4 covers the northeastern part of the county, including much of Lockhart. 

  • Republican: None 
  • Democrat: Arthur Villarreal*

CALDWELL COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

County commissioners draft and pass policies for the county, much like city council members do for a city. There are four county commissioners in Caldwell County, plus the county judge, who is elected countywide. 

Precinct No. 1 covers the central part of the county, including the southwestern part of Lockhart. 

  • Republican: B.J. Westmoreland*
  • Democrat: James Bertram

Precinct No. 3 covers the western part of the county.

  • Republican: Edward “Ed” Theriot*
  • Democrat: None

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.

421st Judicial District 

  • Republican: Chris Schneider*
  • Democrat: None

22nd Judicial District

  • Republican: R. Bruce Boyer
  • Democrat: None