The first days of the month-long candidate filing period saw only three who filed for local offices – all for upcoming vacancies on the New Braunfels City Council.
As expected, Rusty Brockman filed to succeed Barron Casteel as the city’s next mayor. Jason Hurta filed for District 5 council seat being vacated by Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Peters, with James Blakey filing to succeed District 6 incumbent Leah Garcia.
Voters will head to the polls May 2 to select a new mayor, council members and trustees on the New Braunfels and Comal independent school districts. Comal ISD voters will also decide a multi-million dollar bond election. Officials and trustees will determine ballot propositions and dollar amounts in the coming weeks.
The month-long, candidate filing period began Wednesday and ends Friday, Feb. 14 for the seven contested seats carrying three-year terms.
Casteel, Peters and Garcia, each elected to City Council in 2014 and reelected in 2017, have reached their limit of two consecutive terms and could seek a third after a three-year hiatus. Brockman, Hurta and Blakey were rumored as their respective successors, the latter two more recently than Brockman, who announced in September.
Brockman, 69, kicked off his campaign with wife M’Liss, friends and family members at a rally at Krause’s Café and Biergarten.
“New Braunfels has been my home for more than 33 years,” Brockman said after filing on Wednesday. “It accepted a new, young family and helped us raise three children. It is now helping our children raise our five grandchildren.”
Brockman served 28 years as a coach, teacher and administrator in the Comal Independent School District. He spent another 16 years as vice president of economic development for the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce and currently serves as a community relations advisor with the CEMEX.
“I have time, experience, and energy to lead this community,” he said. “It is now my time to give back!”
Hurta, a 45-year-old investment advisor, seeks the District 5 council seat. He and his wife Traci have three children.
“Living just steps away from our beautiful, iconic downtown, I understand the importance of protecting our heritage while managing the growth our city is experiencing,” he said. “Growth brings about many challenges, and I’m excited to listen to and work with the residents of District 5 to address those challenges.
“As a business owner, I am also mindful of the need to be fiscally responsible and thoughtfully consider each issue.”
Blakey, a 53-year-old sales director with American Micro Devices, is seeking the District 6 position. The 1984 New Braunfels High School graduate said he would enhance city economic development programs that focus on attracting high-paying area jobs.
“As a person that has commuted for years to San Antonio and Austin for employment, we need to figure out how to continue our focus on industrial development, especially high tech, in order to keep families from having to spend a large amount of time driving to work,” said Blakey, who is married to Lori and has four children. “As a major focus, we need to continue, as current city leadership has, to maintain the quality of life that we have been fortunate to have here in New Braunfels.
“I want to help New Braunfels be the perfect balance of family life, industrial development, neighborhood support programs, and growth that will ensure our future generations a chance to be successful and really want to be proud of the town they live.”
No candidates filed for school district positions last week. Current incumbents are NBISD’s Michael Calta (District 2) and Matthew Sargent (District 4), and Comal ISD’s Jason York (District 3) and Denise Kern (District 4).
School board candidates must be registered voters, reside in the district they are filing for, and have resided within the school district for at least six months.
Qualified applicants for city council must be registered voters, have resided in their respective districts at least six months prior to filing and have resided in New Braunfels at least 12 months prior to the May 2 election date, and in no way be currently indebted to the city.
Interested candidates must file the necessary paperwork with the city of New Braunfels, NBISD or CISD before the 5 p.m. deadline on Feb. 14. The last day to register to vote is April 2; early voting begins April 20 and ends April 28.
Where to file:
• New Braunfels City Council
MAYOR, DISTRICTS 5 AND 6
City Secretary’s office in City Hall, 550 Landa Street
8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays (except Monday)
• New Braunfels ISD Trustees
DISTRICTS 2 AND 4
NBISD Administration Building, 1000 N. Walnut Avenue
8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays (except Monday); 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14
• Comal ISD
‘DISTRICTS 3 AND 4
Comal ISD Support Services Building
1404 Interstate 35 North
7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays (except Monday); 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays; 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14