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The Lead March 2, 2022: Pct. 2 Commissioner's Court race headed to May 24 runoff

Mardi Gras takes over Arcadia Live!; Chip Roy goes on an anti-vaccination rant; 2 new COVID-19 deaths reported

Good morning, Kerr County!

Election day turned out to be a stunner of a day! It also didn't hurt that Fat Tuesday and the Mardi Gras parties were raging, especially in downtown Kerrville. The weather for the rest of the week looks pleasant — very pleasant. Here's a glance at the next few days:

On today's The Lead Live!

It's Wonderful Wednesday with Rachel Fitch of Fitch Estate Sales. We challenged her to bring some merch into the facility, and we'll see what she comes up with today on the show. On Thursday, Schreiner University Music Director Gene Dowdy will join us to discuss a free concert that night at the Cailloux Theater.

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Before we get to the election results

What a night at Arcadia Live with music, food and fun for the first Mardi Gras celebration at the new venue. Here's a link to our photo gallery:

And a few of our favorite photos via our Instagram page!


View more on Instagram.
What a night for a Mardi Gras bash at @arcadialivekerrville. Fat Tuesday was definitely Fat with Fun.

Election results show a runoff for Precinct 2

Kerr County Precinct 2 Commissioner's Court candidates Sonya Hooten and Rich Paces headed for a May 24 runoff election to fill the seat. Hooten won this round by just two votes.

On the first primary election of the year, millions of Texas voters picked their party preferences in partisan races, including hotly contested races for governor and attorney general.

In Kerr County, the race to replace Beck Gibson on the commissioner's court was an intense battle between four candidates, but in the end, on Tuesday night, Hooten and Paces were neck-and-neck, with both commanding more than 30% of the Republican vote.

Hooten had the backing of former Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer and former Pct. 2 Commissioner Tom Moser, while Paces had the support of hardline conservatives, including the Kerr County Patriots.

In another contested local race, District Clerk Dawn Lantz easily defeated Frank Galvan.

Texas 53rd District Rep. Andrew Murr, center right, talks with his district director Kellie Early and Kerrville City Councilwoman Kim Clarkson at election results during a watch party at Arcadia Live.

Far-right groups backed other candidates, including Wesley Virdell, who challenged District 53 Rep. Andrew Murr in the Republican primary. Murr, however, had a sizable lead with early voters, including those in Kerr County. Murr held a campaign watch party at Arcadia Live on Tuesday night in Kerrville.

Murr will face Democrat Joe Herrera in the Nov. 3 general election.

"The early results demonstrate strong support for my re-election," Murr said Tuesday night. "I view that as folks feel good about the strong representation we've had for rural Texas."

Murr is seeking a fourth term.

Andrew Murr and Kellie Early discuss strategy on Tuesday night.

Early writes down early voting results from Real County.

Another close race was the open seat for State Senate District 24 and former state Sen. Pete Flores was leading in early returns over Raul Reyes and Lamar Lewis. Late Tuesday night, Flores and Reyes appeared headed toward a runoff.

In the governor's race, Greg Abbott was in command of the race — to the surprise of no one. Despite efforts from far-right groups to back Allen West and Don Huffines, the Abbott machine appeared headed toward an election showdown with Democrat Beto O'Rourke.

Abbott rolled up more than 65% of the vote to easily crush Huffines and West.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was headed toward a runoff election.

Attorney General Ken Paxton was ahead of his three challengers — Eva Guzman, George P. Bush and Louie Gohmert — but not enough to stave off a runoff. Paxton appeared headed to a runoff against Bush — the grandson of George H.W. Bush and nephew of George Bush. Paxton had the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, but Bush sought to closely identify himself with the former president, who often ridiculed Bush's father, Jeb, during the 2016 Presidential election.

In Kerr County, Paxton received about 40% of the vote, but Gohmert, currently a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, made a strong election day surge.

Omicron variant claims two more Kerr County lives

As the omicron variant of COVID-19 begins to fade, the deaths are still being counted, including here in Kerr County.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said two people died from the virus on Feb. 17 — driving the February death toll to 15. On Tuesday, DSHS said less than 5,000 people tested positive for the virus, and hospitalizations continued to drop.

In provisional data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in Kerr County from 2020 through 2022.

State of the Union — the Chip Roy edition

After voting against making lynching a hate crime, Rep. Chip Roy said he would sit out President Joe Biden's State of the Union address, instead offering his own snarky commentary via Twitter.

For those of you who want to hear what Biden said, here's the video:

For those of you who want to read about Roy not voting to make lynching a crime, here's the link:

And for those of you who want to read Roy's Twitter thread, here it is:

See @chiproytx's post on Twitter.

See @chiproytx's post on Twitter.

See @chiproytx's post on Twitter.

See @chiproytx's post on Twitter.

See @chiproytx's post on Twitter.

See @chiproytx's post on Twitter.

See @chiproytx's post on Twitter.

Things to do today!

Kerr County Women's Chamber 50th Anniversary

Y.O. Ranch Hotel

6 p.m.


Join in and celebrate the Kerr County Women's Chamber 50th Anniversary with music, dinner, history videos and speakers.

Wild West Wine Wednesdays

Museum of Western Art

5:30-7 p.m.


Meet the folks from Hill Country Distillers LLC in Comfort. Hear about their products, try out a sample, and enjoy our latest exhibits — all free at the Museum.

Live music with Janet Feld

Trailhead Beer Garden at Schreiner University

7-9 p.m.


Feld began teaching guitar and music as a summer camp counselor at age 13. She studied psychology in college and became a therapist, but her passion was sharing music in the dorms and coffee shops near campus.


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