Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
March 20, 2001
Six more candidates enter local elections
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, March 20, 2001 - Late filings have turned a pair of races for
the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board and one for the Town of Pecos City
Council into contested elections, with a 5 p.m. deadline on Wednesday for
candidates to enter all of the May 5 area races.
Six people filed on Monday and early today to run in the P-B-T, Town
of Pecos City and Reeves County Hospital District Board elections, three
adding their names to races that previously had no candidates.
Francisco "Frankie" Rodriguez has filed for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
ISD board for the unexpired one-year term on Monday and has been joined
by Michelle Galindo. The term is currently held by Paul Deishler, who has
filed to run for a full three-year term on the board this May.
Deishler, who was appointed last year to replace Frank Apolinar, Jr.,
and incumbent Brent Shaw filed to run last month, and in the past 24 hours
have been joined by
Veronica "Ronnie" Dutchover and Crissy Martinez, while Saul "Chip" Flores
filed for one of the three available seats late last week.
Along with Shaw, Earl Bates and board president Louis Matta currently
hold the other three-year terms up for election.
In the Town of Pecos City elections, the third incumbent filed to retain
his seat on the council on Monday. Three seats will be voted on May 5 and
Johnny Terrazas has joined Gerald Tellez and Larry Levario in filing for
new two-year terms on the council. The fourth candidate in the race is
former Pecos mayor Frank Sanchez.
In the hospital district race, Hugh Box became the first person to file
for the Precinct 4 seat on the hospital board on Monday, a position currently
held by Holly Key. Clark Lindley and Linda Gholson previously filed for
the Precinct 2 seat currently held by Marcella Lovett, who has not filed
for a new two-year term.
In the Balmorhea city election incumbent Ike Ward has filed to retain
a seat along with Olga Lopez who had filed earlier to retain her seat.
Both positions are up in the May 5 elections.
Incumbent Diana Tollet of Toyah has filed to retain her seat on the
council and has been joined by newcomers Danny Wayne Enmon and Laura E.
Budlong. There are three positions open in the Toyah election.
In the Barstow City Council race, all three incumbents whose terms are
up have filed to retain their seats.
Aldermen Olga Abila, Dora Villanueva and Lucio Florez have filed to
seek new two-year terms in the upcoming local elections.
If there are no opposed candidates, along with no propositions and no
vacancies to be filled by special election in any of the city, school and
hospital board races, those elections may be canceled between this Thursday
and Election Day. For seats on the various board for which no candidate
either files by Wednesday or opts to run as a write-in candidate, the boards
can appoint someone to fill the vacancy following the May 5 election.
The last day a person may register to vote in the local elections is
April 5. Early voting by personal appearance will be April 18 through May
1. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., on Election Day, May 5.
Only minor changes seen from redistricting in area
From Staff and Wire Reports
PECOS, March 20, 2001 - Reeves County's representatives in the United
States Congress, Texas House and Senate may not change much as a result
of the upcoming legislative redistricting session, while redistricting
of the county's four commissioners' precincts will not begin until after
the current Reeves County Hospital District election is completed.
U.S Census figures released last week are the basis for all election
redistricting. The Texas Legislature will determine the new district lines
within the next month and half for the county's Congressional and state
House seats and for the two State Senate seats. How it will affect Reeves
County will be known at that time, according to Reeves County Judge Jimmy
"In April, they will get the final figures from the Census Bureau,"
said Galindo. "The Legislatures takes those figures and uses them to re-district
the Congress and the Texas Legislature District."
"After the session is over, we get the numbers from those Legislative
Districts and do individual counties," said Galindo. "The counties are
reapportioned according to the numbers."
Austin attorney Rolando Rios has been hired to help out with re-districting
in this county. "He's been keeping up with all the numbers and helps with
all the legal requirements regarding re-districting," said Galindo.
Galindo stated that this won't happen until sometime this summer.
The boundaries of all four precincts in Reeves County will also be adjusted
to reflect population changes, so that the population of all four precincts
is relatively equal.
The new precinct boundaries will first come into play this December,
when candidate filings begin for the 2002 elections, which will include
the Precinct 2 and 4 commissioner's races. Voters in those two precincts
will cast ballots on May 5 for seats on the Reeves County Hospital district
board, but that election will be held using the boundaries in effect since
the 1992 election.
Reeves County's population dropped 17 percent over the past 10 years,
according to the new Census numbers, but the loss of population only may
have a major effect on the District 80 seat in the Texas Legislature, current
held by Gary Walker (R-Plains). The size of Walker's district will have
to be expanded or altered in some way to increase the population, because
of the overall rise in Texas' population over the past decade.
In the Texas Senate, Frank Madla's District 19 lost population in the
Permian Basin, but increased in population around San Antonio. Madla, a
San Antonio Democrat, represents all but far northern Reeves County, which
is part of District 26, represented by Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock).
Duncan's district stretches through Reeves County in order to reach
areas of eastern El Paso County, and there is an outside chance Pecos and
other sections of Reeves County could be added to District 26 by the legislature.
The Associated Press reported last week that despite a slight increase
in population, the section of Duncan's district in El Paso be removed because
El Paso's population growth has lagged behind the state average.
"One of my No. 1 priorities is to remain in El Paso if possible," said
Duncan. "I'm concerned by the numbers."
Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, said El Paso would suffer if Duncan
no longer represents the area.
"Cities with multiple senators have many voices for their issues," Shapleigh
said Wednesday. "To limit us to one is not in our interest."
Duncan and Shapleigh are working on a plan that will allow the Republican
senator to keep some El Paso precincts while Shapleigh gains the people
he needs to get closer to the state's ideal size for a Senate district.
Shapleigh's district is more than 14 percent below the ideal size of
672,000 residents. Duncan also must pick up people, since his district's
population is slightly more than 6 percent below the ideal. If Duncan remains
in El Paso, sections of other counties like Reeves, Culberson or Ward,
could be added to his district to make up for the 6 percent shortfall.
"My view is that El Paso is big enough to have two senators," Duncan
said. "We've worked pretty hard and there's a bipartisan approach. While
we don't always agree, we work well together."
Shapleigh agreed. "While I cover the Democratic side, he covers the
Republican side," he said. "The end result is that El Paso is better off."
Congressman Henry Bonilla's District 23 is expected to undergo only
minor changes. The San Antonio Republican may lose some of El Paso County
within his district to District 16 Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-El Paso), but
that loss will be mostly offset by population growth in South Central Texas,
around San Antonio and Laredo.
While West Texans were coping with losses, some Central Texas legislators
were enjoying huge population gains that are expected to allow the creation
of two new congressional seats.
The big gainers appear to be lawmakers representing suburban areas around
Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Austin. Austin replaced El Paso as the state's
fourth largest city, according to the new census figures.
An area north of Dallas-Fort Worth may get one of the state's new congressional
seats, according to some estimations.
Where the other new seat would be located is more questionable. Rep.
Delwin Jones, R-Lubbock, chairman of the House Redistricting Committee,
has said it may be located in the Austin-San Antonio corridor.
But arguments are being made for it to be in South Texas or in the Harris
State Rep. Terry Keel, R-Austin, whose district tallied the biggest
population gain of any House district, also is a member of the House Redistricting
Keel said it isn't necessarily accurate to say a new congressional district
will be located in one spot or another, at this point. If two new seats
are put into the state's whole mix, it could shift where other districts
are located, he said.
Republicans control the Texas Senate and ultimately, perhaps, the redistricting
process. Republican Gov. Rick Perry could veto any redistricting bill.
The GOP controls the state's redistricting board, which could come up with
its own plan for state lawmakers' districts if the Legislature fails to
or if there is a veto.
The average Texan should care about redistricting, Wentworth said, because
it affects who will decide important issues in education, taxes and criminal
"It's absolutely fundamental to who gets elected," he said.
Wentworth would like to see more citizen involvement and for years has
pushed for a bipartisan citizens' commission to oversee redistricting,
removing the process from "self-interest" in the Legislature, he said.
A scenario likely to occur sooner, he said, is his proposed special
45-day redistricting session that would prevent the regular legislative
session from getting overtaken by redistricting.
Whatever the new political districts are, they likely will face a legal
challenge, as traditionally happens.
Two lawsuits already have been filed. One is in federal court in Marshall
and the other is in state district court in Austin.
OC Center offers truck school info this Wednesday
PECOS, March 20, 2001 - The Pecos Technical Training Center of Odessa College
announces that representatives from the Odessa College Truck Driving School
will be available to speak to anyone interested in pursing a career in
commercial truck driving from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Wednesday.
Representatives from the Swift Trucking Corp. will also be on hand with
For more information contact the center at 445-5535.
PECOS, March 20, 2001 - High Monday 68. Low this morning 36. Forecast for
tonight: Mostly clear. Low near 40. South wind 5 to 15 mph. Wednesday:
Mostly sunny and warm. High in the upper 80s. Southwest wind 10 to 20 mph.
Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Low in the mid 40s. Thursday: Increasing
clouds. High near 80. Friday: Mostly cloudy and cooler. Low near 40. High
in the upper 60s.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise