Mayor promotes city progress while candidates reach out to LH voters

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By SHELLY WILKISON

Liberty Hill is coming of age.

That was the message delivered by Mayor Connie Fuller to local business leaders and their guests, along with some candidates for various public offices who campaigned Tuesday at Dahlia Cafe in Liberty Hill.

It was the second day of early voting, and most of the 11 candidates were making their first visit to Liberty Hill.

Mayor Fuller cited a new spirit of cooperation among city elected officials and credited the leadership of City Manager Greg Boatright.

“We’ve had a little bit of an image problem in Liberty Hill in the past, but this new city council is trying to improve it,” she said.

She briefed an audience of about 60 people regarding new residential developments, downtown revitalization, Economic Development Corp. projects, and the City’s efforts to grow its water resources.

“This city is coming alive and we’re excited,” she said, inviting visiting candidates to come back to town in a year and see what will have been accomplished.

The candidates for federal, state and county offices were invited by the Chamber of Commerce to introduce themselves and were given three minutes to make their pitch to voters. The event was held at Dahlia Cafe and sponsored by Hilltop Children’s Center.

In the race for U.S. Representative, District 31, Democrat Louie Minor said the government should do more to take care of war veterans. Himself a veteran of the Iraq War and a former police officer, Minor of Belton said he also supported small business. Incumbent Congressman John Carter, R-Round Rock, did not attend the event.

Also absent was incumbent State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, who is seeking re-election to the District 5 seat.

Challenger Joel Shapiro, a Democrat from Cedar Park, said after months of campaigning, he has yet to see Sen. Schwertner at an event.

State Rep. Marsha Farney, R- Georgetown, described herself as “pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, and supportive of parental choice in public schools with regards to charter schools.” She added that she is a fiscal conservative.

Her opponent, Stephen Wyman, a Democrat from Georgetown, said he believed the time was right to elect Democrats to state office.

“The doors are open and Democrats must walk through them this year,” he said.

Williamson County Judge Dan Gattis, a Republican, spoke about the positive relationship between the County and the City of Liberty Hill and the importance of working together to bring improvements to the area.

“Water is the number one problem,” Gattis said. “We are working with the City on getting the pipeline (to carry water from Leander to Liberty Hill along Bagdad Road), but we’re also looking for other water sources and working with all of the cities (in the county). “

The largest city in Williamson County could be Liberty Hill in the near future,” Gattis said. “You have the country, the place and sitting on the edge of doing that (be the leading community). The County has backed you well in the past, and we want to keep doing that.”

The Democratic candidate, Michael Custer, a retired US Army colonel, said decided to seek the office of County Judge to give voters a choice.

“I’ve been in Texas since 2011 and realized there was no opposition to Republican candidates,” he said. “We need an open and fair government.”

In the race for County Commissioner Precinct 2, which includes Liberty Hill, challenger Eddie Hurst said if elected he would carry on the County’s “business friendly” philosophy.

“This community is engaged and will hold our feet to the fire,” he said.

Incumbent Cynthia Long, who was first elected eight years ago, said in recent years the County had made several important road improvements to improve safety around the new high school and in other areas of Liberty Hill.

“But, the jewel for the area is the parkland purchased by the County (off CR 282),” she said. “We are beginning Phase I development of that.

She said Liberty Hill will have direct access to the park off Bagdad Road — access she said would be “an easy bike ride from downtown Liberty Hill.”

Incumbent Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Edna Staudt said she first sought the office years ago because she had an interest in protecting individual rights.

“I take serious the rights of an individual. I only sign probable cause warrants when it is just,” she said.

During her tenure, she has created a mentoring program for young people and a teen court.

Her opponent, Libertarian Party candidate Dan Michael, was not present.

Although area voters will cast ballots in numerous judicial races, only candidates for Chief Justice of the 3rd Court of Appeals made it to Liberty Hill Tuesday.

Incumbent Jeff Rose, a Republican, was not present but a campaign representative read a statement from him.

Democrat Diane Henson said for the past six years she has been the independent voice on the 3rd Court of Appeals. She touted results of a recent State Bar Poll showing the majority of lawyers supported her candidacy.

Liberty Hill area voters may cast ballots early from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at Over the Hill Gang, 3407 RR 1869. Photo identification is required.

Election Day is Nov. 4 and local voters cast ballots at Liberty Hill High School from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

To see a sample ballot, go to www.wilco.org.

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