Friday, March 10, 2006

Commissioners Concerned About Macias

Carter Casteel was one of the more upset losses to watch last Tuesday. She was narrowly defeated by one of the Leininger 5, Nathan Macias.

Casteel is still bouncing the idea around on whether to call for a recount, and the Herald-Zeitung gives her one more reason to.

So far, county commissioners and County Judge Danny Scheel have not met with Macias. Some county officials voiced concerns Thursday that Macias’ campaign suggests he might not be friendly to the legislative needs of county government.
Macias admits there be some difference between him and the highly responsive and well like Casteel.

“In principle, I trust there will be a difference,” Macias said. “I wouldn’t have run for office if there wasn’t going to be. But I would also let the judge and commissioners know that, while I’m there to represent all the citizens of the district, I clearly understand that counties are the arm of state government that gets things accomplished.”

To say there is unease to Macias representing House District 73 is an understatement. Scheel and other both look at the negative campaign tactics and Macias’s unwillingness to discuss policy with locally elected officials, cause locally elected officials great concern.

As far as I’m concerned, a defeat for Carter Casteel is a defeat for me,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Jay Millikin said. “I think the hype and tripe that was presented against our state representative was unconscionable. I believe it could be a very strained relationship between our local governments and Mr. Macias.”

Scheel said he was concerned because Macias hasn’t met with local officials — even while campaigning for office — and no one knows his stances on many issues that are vital to the county.

Another concern for officials like Scheel and Millikin is the source of funding during the primary.

Scheel also was concerned, he said, about the possible influence on Macias of Dr. James Leininger of San Antonio, a Republican backer who pumped more than $800,000 into Macias’ campaign. Leininger’s main goal is to get a statewide school voucher plan passed.

In light of this, maybe Casteel will change her mind and ask for a recount.


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