New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 5, 1980, New Braunfels, Texas
hicof lim Center Comp, r# 0f Box 4-5^36 callas, Texa:. 75235
Fellers re-elected; Smith ousts Matheny
Sheriff defeats Mullins
to garner eighth term
Sheriff Walter Fellers won reelection Tuesday, beating his Republican challenger, John Mullins, by a margin of 7,849 to 5,637 after a hard and sometimes bitter race.
Mullins succeeded in mounting the only effective challenge Fellers has ever had in his 28-year career as Comal County’s chief law enforcement officer.
“I thought it was a clean fight ” Fellers said Wednesday. “It didn’t get out of hand, except when my opponent tried to degrade the Sheriff’s Department. I still feel it is one of the finest in the country. I told the people that and they believed it, too.”
Mullins, a former sheriff’s deputy who was fired by Fellers in May of
* Tav*of Communications Inc
25 cents November 5,1980
1979, charged in his campaign literature the Sheriff’s Department was unresponsive and out-of-date.
“We can’t afford to risk having courthouse politicians appoint a substitute sheriff if the 68-year-old incumbent doesn’t last the next four years,” one advertisement for Mullins read.
Fellers’ campaign ads cited the county’s “low crime rates."
“Many of my friends are upset at the kind of race my opponent is conducting and have suggested to me to get in the mud with him and scrap it out. I prefer not to do so,” said one Fellers ad.
Mullins said Tuesday there was “no
See SHERIFF, Page 16A
No cliffhangers occur in contested county races
SHERIFF WALTER FELLERS .. .elected for four more years
Staff photo by John Senter
Howard “Curly” Smith beat Precinct 4 Peace Justice Carrol Matheny Tuesday by the closest margin of all the county races.
It was still no cliffhanger. Matheny, appointed by Commissioners Court in 1979, got 42.8 percent of the vote. His Republican challenger got 57.2 percent.
In numbers, that was 1,154 for Smith, 864 for Matheny.
Harold Krueger, justice of the peace for Precinct I, beat Republican challenger Bemus Glenn Jackson by a wider margin of 4,202 votes to 2,491, or 62.8 percent over 37.2 percent.
Both Krueger and Smith were filling "unexpired terms,” and elections for their positions will be held again in 1982. All four county JPs must run in
the same year, the state has ruled, and Precincts I and 4 somehow got two years ahead of the others.
Republican Lester Jonas beat Democrat C A. “Smitty” Smith for the Precinct 3 constable position, vacated this year by Lawrence Wehe.
Jonas polled 1,695 votes or 66.1 percent, while Smith had 871 votes or 33.9 percent.
Democrat James Ivy had no trouble with his write-in opponent, Gordon Grant McLear. He won the Constable Precinct 4 post by a vote of 1,188 to 143 Ivy beat incumbent Bob Dagle in the Democratic primary.
Werner Kiesling beat write-in op-
See NO CLIFFHANGERS, Page IBA
Vol. 89 - No. 95 24 Pages - 2 Sections
(USPS 377 880) New Braunfels, Texas
WASHINGTON (AP) - Ronald Wilson Reagan won the White House on the crest of a conservative tide that swept Republicans to control of the Senate for the first time in 26 years and gave the president-elect a landslide mandate for his promises of a tougher America abroad and less government at home.
“I am not frightened by what lies ahead,” Reagan told a victory celebration at the Century Plaza Hotel in I^os Angeles, promising to “tap that great American spirit.”
President Carter congratulated Reagan and pledged “our fullest support and cooperation in bringing about an orderly transition of government.”
“I can’t stand here tonight and tell you it doesn’t hurt,” Carter told supporters at a Washington hotel.
Reagan and running mate George Bush led from the earliest returns on Tuesday and it quickly became clear that their triumph was a prelude to a sweeping shift in the American political balance of power.
The GOP ticket had courted Democrats — Jews, blue-collar workers and big city residents — and his strategy
paid off, according to polling data that showed Reagan capturing a substantial share of those votes.
As the returns flowed in, the magnitude of Reagan’s victory was clear in the electoral vote tally which gave the Republican nominee 469 to 49 for Carter when only two states with a total of 20 remained to be decided.
Not surprisingly, Reagan easily carried Comal County, which has voted Republican in every recent presidential election except for 1964, when Lyndon Johnson carried the county over Barry Coldwater.
Reagan piled up 9,743 votes to 3,548 for Carter. Independent John Anderson received 323 votes, while Libertarian Ed Clart polled 75.
Reagan carried all of the county’s 20 boxes except for the predominantly Democratic Precincts 6 and 7 on the city’s west side.
Republicans captured IO Democratic Senate seats and were leading in the race for one other, assuring them at least a 51-49 majority and control for the first time since 1954. The GDP also could
See COMAL, Page 8A
jury to get caseSuspect
A person believed to be involved in the Sunday morning shooting which resulted in the death of one man turned himself in to New Braunfels police yesterday.
Ll. Felix Roque, head of New Braunfels Police Department Criminal Investigation Division, said a 25-year-old man from Rockport turned himself
in to the police at 2 p.m. yesterday.
The suspect and his attorneys met with Roque, CID detective Mario Guerrero and a Texas Ranger, Roque said.
The case will be taken to the Comal County Grand Jury Nov. 13, Roque said. “No charges will be filed until after the grand jury meets,” he said.
For that reason police would not
reveal the name of the suspect.
“He told us he had been the one involved in the shooting,” Roque said.
Construction worker Timothy Joe Nelson, 31, of Austin, was pronounced dead at 1:13 a.m. Sunday from a single gunshot to the chest in the incident.
Police said an argument between Nelson and the suspect over getting out
of a congested parking lot across from the Wurstfest grounds resulted in the shooting. Nelson, in an attempt to lead a friend’s van into the line of traffic-leaving the parking lot, was trying to get other drivers’ attention by banging on their car hoods, Roque said. Nelson smashed the passenger side windshield of the suspect’s car with his fist, Roque said.
The suspect produced a .22 caliber revolver and shot Nelson iii the chest, Roque said. The suspect then drove out the rear of the parking lot through a field, he said.
“We will continue oui investigation,” Roque said, adding that the suspect had supplied the department with the names of witnesses to the shooting.Inside
SPORTS................. 67 J
SPRING BRANCH 10)
Equipment breakdown delays returns several hours
SCOTT GOSDIN works on cranky computer, gets sympathy
Staff photoBy HENRY KRAUSSE Staff writer
It was not only a record turnout for Comal County, it was the earliest hour in recent memory — 9:10 p.m. — that all the ballots had been turned in to the county clerk’s office for counting.
It didn’t matter. The computer system didn’t work.
A Courthouse crowd of candidates, election and party officials, county commissioners and the press waited for much of the night, cracking jokes and trying to second-guess the technicians.
The technicians sweated over the machinery, and county clerk’s office personnel made no attempt to hide their chagrin and frustration.
“Ifs so disgusting. We tried so hard. Everything would have been fine if it had worked. What can you do?” Deputy County Clerk Gay Wimberley told Precinct 16 Judge Roxie Smeal as she accepted her ballot box.
Indeed, if not for the machinery problems, it would have been the
perfect end to an exhausting day for election judges, clerks and pollwat-chers. Almost without exception, they reported record precinct turnouts.
Many had to send for more ballots by late afternoon.
A rough one,” summed up Precinct 12 Judge Hilmar Schnewer as he turned over his election materials.
“It was a record as long as I’ve been out there,” reported Precinct IO Judge Harry Heimer.
Precinct 4 had exactly 200 voters for the 200 ballots on hand. A voter showed up there at 7:05 p.m., but was too late to have to wait for a ballot to be sent out from the Courthouse.
Precinct 13 voters did just that. At 9:10 p.m., Precinct Judge Chester Krause sauntered into the room with his box under one arm and became the last election official to turn over his ballots.
“A record turnout. We ran out of ballots about 5:30 p.m. and had to get some more. It took two hours. No, nobody left, they just waited,” he said.
But the ballots, however quickly and
efficiently they were turned in, refused to run through the computer. The machine had held its “logic and accuracy” tests — with a different deck of cards - without a hitch, but it would not accept the official puneh-card ballots.
Many of the cards hadn’t been punched all the way through, so office personnel spent an hour or so completing all the little holes. Still, no luck, but by that time sheriff’s deputies had picked up another machine from San Antonio. It was a little different, and technician Scott Gosdin had to phone Computer Election Services, the manufacturer, at its office in Berkeley, Calif., for instructions.
The county hired Gosdin, a computer science major at Southwest Texas State University, to work the computer during the primary and general election. They got their money’s worth last night.
“The first machine was reading the cards two at a time. Can’t have that. This other computer, the one from San Antonio — well, the card-reader
worked fine, but something was wrong with the computer part. What we had to do was put the top half of one machine on the bottom half of the other, and cross-wire it,” he said.
And still the candidates, the press and the merely curious waited. And waited.
Ten minutes after midnight, Gosdin ran a test successfully, and the painful process of counting began. Every 20 or 30 cards, the machine would stop, and he would have to adjust a card and start it up again.
“Temperamental beast,” he muttered. Others iii the room were not so charitable. Adding an almost ludicrous touch to the proceedings were the sprinkling of Opa ties, hats, vests and lederhosen worn by county political leaders fresh from Wurstfest.
“Come on, baby. Come on. God Almighty!” Gosdin alternately coaxed and swore as the on-again, off-again counting went on.
Others in the liiunediate area, in-See COMPUTER, Page lb Ajoin swing to Reagan
Voting was heavy in all precincts Tuesday as represented by this line at Dittlinger Memorial Library