Karbowski declared winner of Pct. 1 commissioner race

Bruce Karbowski is the presumed winner in the race for Pct. 1 commissioner. Karbowski, a Republican, had been facing a Democratic challenger in the fall, but the candidate - Ron Blake of Liberty - dropped out of the race late Friday.

Ron Blake, the Democratic candidate for Liberty County Pct. 1 commissioner, dropped out of the race Friday afternoon, leaving the path for reelection open for Pct. 1 Commissioner Bruce Karbowski. With no opposition in November, Karbowski will be declared the winner and his name will be listed on the general election ballot after the contested races under the heading of “Unopposed Candidates Declared Elected.”

According to Liberty County Democratic Chair Michael Mark, Blake informed him that he was withdrawing from the Pct. 1 County Commissioner’s race for non-COVID health reasons.

“I was very disappointed to see him withdraw from the election but I wish him well,” Mark said.

The Pct. 1 commissioner election is not the only county race with an uncontested winner. The positions of Liberty County Court at Law No. 2, District Attorney, County Attorney, Sheriff, County Tax Assessor-Collector, Pct. 2 Constable, Pct. 3 Constable, Pct. 4 Constable, Pct. 5 Constable and Pct. 6 Constable are only being sought by Republican candidates who face no Democratic opposition in November. Therefore, the candidates who won in the March primary or the July run-off election are the presumed winners.

Liberty County Elections Administrator Klint Bush said he is hoping to strike their names from the ballot in November in order to simplify what is shaping up to be a complicated election since many entities had to put off their May elections until November due to COVID-19 concerns.

“We normally would put these folks on the ballot but we are trying to save space. We are using everything at our disposal to simplify the ballots for voters,” Bush said. “The City of Liberty’s ballot is already four pages long with charter amendments alone.”

Fourteen governmental bodies in Liberty County, such as cities and school boards, are having elections this November, according to Bush. The ballots are already complicated with split elections. A split election is created when an entity in a precinct – for example, the City of Hardin – holds an election in Pct. 3. Not all of the voters in Pct. 3 are in the City of Hardin, so two ballots have to be created for Pct. 3 voters.

Once the ballots are readied, sample ballots will be posted on the county’s Election Administration page. Bush expects them to be available by late September.

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