This page cannot be accessed with Reader Mode turned on.

Kerr County Judge Rob Kelly still weighing options on Precinct 2 commissioner

The judge has four finalists to fill the remainder of Tom Moser's term

Kerr County Judge Rob Kelly has chosen four finalists to fill the unexpired term of Precinct 2 Commissioner Tom Moser, who has resigned from the commissioner's court.

Kelly announced that he would choose Christopher Michael Child, Thomas Bechton Gipson, Kaela Lynn Hale or Mark Richard Haufler to fill Moser's final 18 months in office. Moser resigned after moving out of the precinct.

The selected finalists were from a list of 21 people who applied to be appointed. While Kelly took input from commissioners Harley Belew, Don Harris and Jonathan Letz, he is empowered to make the appointment. Kelly will interview all four on Wednesday. He could make a selection at the end of the interviews.

Kelly, however, through a bit of a wrench into the process by not appointing someone who would seek election. How Kelly will enforce that expectation is unclear.

During Monday's commissioner's court meeting, Kelly said at least five people had declared as candidates — although none can file to run until November.

"An appointment would possibly give one of them the advantage that commonly comes with incumbency, which I'm told by experts is an estimated advantage of around 5%," Kelly said. "The announced candidates are so outstanding that it did not seem fair for one to get an advantage over the others. Obviously, there is going to be a spirited race for the Precinct 2 position, as it should be.

"There are applicants who said they are not interested in officially running for election to the seat, but are eager to contribute what they can to improve the county in the interim. I decided to let the 'thoroughbreds' run their race and have the voters of Precinct 2 cheer their favorite to victory. So, I decided I would not appoint any declared candidates, but rather one of the others to ensure a better-quality election in the primary."

The county provided biographical sketches on each candidate:


Childs has lived on a family ranch in Kerr County Precinct 2 for 29 years, after moving here in 1992. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Lamar University. He has been president of Shonto Ranch Inc. since 2003. His responsibilities have included ranching and commercial hunting, fishing, and hospitality in the form of a camera safari business. He is in his third term serving on the Headwaters Groundwater Conservation District Board. Since 2014, he also has served on the board of the nonprofit Friends of Big Bend Ranch State Park. He and his wife have two children.


Gipson is a real estate broker, appraiser and consultant who, since 1979, has owned Gipson Real Estate Services in Kerrville. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Texas Tech University and served in the U.S. Army with an honorable discharge. He is a past president of the San Antonio chapter of Appraisal Institute, a previous chairman of the Kerrville Planning and Zoning Commission and a former president of the Upper Guadalupe River Authority board of directors. He acts as a counselor for family ranch partitions and as a buyer's agent.


Hale is a civil engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering from Texas A&;M University. From 2012 to 2017, she was an engineer with Pape-Dawson Engineers in San Antonio, and her work experience involved designing new subdivisions, commercial projects, road extensions and housing developments. She submitted plats and plans for review and approval, coordinated with clients, prepared budgets, and helped with invoicing. She left work to start a family. She has a vested interest in the county because she and her husband built their home in Precinct 2 nearly two years ago to raise their children here.


Haufler served 38 years as a banker in Kerrville. From 2016 until his retirement in November 2020, he was a senior business relationship manager at Wells Fargo Bank. His primary functions included underwriting/servicing commercial real estate loans and managing corresponding deposit relationships. He holds a bachelor of business administration degree in finance from Southwest Texas State University. He has served on many civic and nonprofit boards. Currently, he is vice president of The Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country, vice president of Hill Country Youth Orchestras and a leader within St. Peter's Episcopal Church.


This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top