The early voting period in the runoff election between Dwayne Johnson and Richard Talavera for the Republican candidate in the race for Somervell County Commissioner, Place 2, will be May 14-18.
Early voting hours in that runoff will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays during that Monday through Friday span, at the Somervell County Annex Building.
The runoff election day will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22, at the Somervell County Expo Center.
Talavera and Johnson will go head-to-head in the Republican runoff. They were the top two vote-getters in the Primary Election that was held March 6, but the runoff is required because no one received at least 51 percent of the votes. Ramon Bunt finished third in that race, but is not in the runoff.
On election night, Talavera had 274 votes, Johnson had 222 and Bunt had 119.
Judy Nawrocki was the lone Democrat who ran for Precinct 2 commissioner, and received 40 votes in that primary. She will face the winner of the Johnson-Talavera runoff in the Nov. 6 election to decide who will fill the Precinct 2 on the Commissioner’s Court.
John Curtis decided not to run for reelection to the Precinct 2 position.
The Republican winner in the primary election for Somervell County’s Precinct 4 commissioner position was Wade Busch. He will be unopposed in the Nov. 6 election.
Johnson, 57, is the owner and operator of Johnson Electric.
Talavera, 51, is a detective with the Somervell County Sheriff’s Office.
The two candidates spoke with the Glen Rose Reporter about their thoughts on the runoff process and the key issues they will face if they are elected, as seen below:
“I think it (the runoff campaign) is going really good,” Johnson said. “I’m taking time to visit with everybody throughout the precinct.”
Johnson emphasized the need for expanding the tax base by attracting more new businesses, and in guarding the interests of the local taxpayers.
“The best thing we can do is be responsible for the taxpayers’ money — that we utilize it to the full extent, that we not overspend. The other thing is to get more businesses to come into Somervell County.”
Johnson noted that the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant represents 77 percent of the county tax base, but that is on the decline.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen,” Johson said. “So we need to make preparations to find replacement tax revenue for that. Because there will be a day it goes away. We’ve got to look at it like it’s not going to be around.”
Johnson pointed to the recent opening of Tractor Supply, one new business in Glen Rose, plus a projected opening of O’Reilly Auto Parts store later this year, as positive developments.
He also said that it will be important to encourage affordable housing for those who may want to move to Glen Rose instead of driving to work here from other nearby counties.
“I think we’re going to grow toward Cleburne,” Johnson said of the projected population growth. “I would like to see some developments come in there. We need those people living in Somervell. I just don’t think the availability (of housing) is here. We need the work force to entice other businesses to come into the county.”
Johnson touted his 23 years as a business owner.
“The next commissioner needs to be a business person,” Johnson said. “The county needs to be run like a business.”
Talavera said that the runoff campaign has been a clean one and believes they have many ideas in common.
“We’re running on some of the same things, but we may not say it the same way. I think it will take up to the day of the election to win this thing,” Talavera said. “Getting people out to vote is the main thing. I hope I get the support I need, and I’ll continue to work hard until the day of the election.”
Talavera said he wants to promote “more positive growth” in the county.
“We need to change, and bring more tax money in to offset what we’re getting from Comanche Peak,” Talavera said. “About 74 percent of our taxes are coming from Comahche Peak.
“We need affordable housing in Somervell County. Taxes are pretty good right now. We don’t want to see them skyrocket. Comanche Peak’s life span is supposed to be 40 years, and we’re on the back side of that.”
Talavera stated that if he is elected to the commissioner’s spot, he will retire from the Somervell County Sheriff’s Office.
“One of the things that sets me and (Johnson) apart is, I plan on doing it 100 percen tof the time,” said Talavera, a former patrol lieutenant who is in his 30th year serving in law enforcement. “He’s a business owner, and he’s got to keep his business. I plan on retiring from the Sheriff’s Office if I get this, probably in November.”