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May 7, 2022 Local Election Guide

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With the early voting period starting next week, learn more about your candidates for local offices with our May election guide. We sent a survey to each candidate in each contested race for each position on Bastrop County city councils and school boards. Read each candidate’s statement below, and click on their name to see their full response to our survey.

Early voting begins on April 25, and Election Day is May 7. To confirm your voter registration status, see your sample ballot and learn more about the May 7 election, visit

See the May 2022 Local Election Guide special section from the April 20 edition here.



Elgin City Council



Stephanie McBurney Lippke

I bring a lifetime of experience to the position of Mayor. It is the diversity of 38 years of education, employment and travel that has uniquely prepared me for this position. The City of Elgin’s biggest challenge is the lack of strategic planning for any of this new growth. Elgin needs new businesses like retail, restaurant and entertainment to support this exponential growth. We need to court small, high-paying industrial companies with job diversity.

Leaders should be engaged with other leaders to educate and expand resources for their city. As Mayor, I would encourage the Council to work with TxDOT, CAMPO, CTCOG, and CAPCOG to maximize economic development and transportation funding through state, federal and grant funding instead of taking out bonds paid for by our local tax dollars.

With the approval of over 14,000 new homes in Elgin, our population is going to explode to over 50,000 by 2026. We need managed growth and involved city council oversight over the City of Elgin. We need updated infrastructure in “old” Elgin as well as newer parts of town. We need to install a Strategic Planning Commission immediately to start working on a cohesive, proactive plan for the future of Elgin. These boards and commissions are integral to the future of Elgin and we need to appoint our brightest, most dedicated Elginites to help bring their experience and knowledge to the table to best benefit all of Elgin. Elgin needs balance. We all deserve a better Elgin, 100 percent.

Theresa McShan

I am a lifelong resident of Elgin, who has a servant heart. Now retired from the State of Texas, after 35 years of service, I feel that it is time to give even more to my community. I proudly sat on City Council from 2003 to 2011, where I learned the ins and outs of local government. I am currently the President of the Main Street Board and have been a member since 2014. I believe that with the growth that is coming to our community, it is vital to have a candidate who understands that government can get complicated. I want to use my servant heart to support our small businesses and community, and my strong leadership to navigate the inevitable changes.

Experience is the key word here, and I feel confident in what I have to offer.

I believe our voters should choose me because I am a servant leader with a humble heart. I have a clear understanding of the dynamics of our community and have a positive working relationship with the key players. I can’t express enough the value of being able to work with those around you. While I realize that our town has plenty of work ahead of us, I also appreciate and respect the work that has been done. Lastly, I think it is crucial for voters to acknowledge that as the mayor of this community, your true role is of leadership and guidance. I do not want to confuse voters with promises that are out of the control of the mayoral role.


Ward 1

Joy Casnovsky

Preserve and support Elgin’s unique character while balancing growth: Growth is inevitable but it has to be smart growth. We have the opportunity to shape the kind of Elgin we want! I envision an Elgin that is not just a bedroom community in Austin’s shadow. I envision an Elgin that has heart, soul, and unique qualities. The great news? Elgin already has this! We just need to support and grow our unique character. I envision Elgin growing like Lockhart or Georgetown versus a Pflugerville or Manor. Let’s create opportunities to live, play, and work. And let’s not forget about tourism: Elgin has the potential to attract tourists to spend their dollars here, who are drawn to our barbeque, festivals, history, parks, and shops.

Bring leadership and experience to the Elgin City Council: I’ve served on numerous city boards and committees. I understand how governments work. I also understand that nothing is black and white; enacting good policies and transparent communication with residents takes time, understanding, and reason.

Be accessible and be a voice for Ward 1 residents: It’s my commitment to Ward 1 residents that I am accessible to you. Be it via email, texts, phone calls or coffee at Chemn Cafe. One of the things I most love about living in Elgin is the community and the camaraderie. Reach out! Talk to me about your ideas or concerns. Let’s figure out what we can do together.

Amanda D. Moore

Please vote, every vote counts.

I am advocating for road improvements, sidewalks, water infrastructure improvements and fair appraisals for Ward 1 from Bastrop County. Also I want our voice to be heard on major job revenue in the City of Elgin.

Large companies with better pay, and shorter commutes to work, which will allow more family time. Live in Elgin—we should have the choice to work in Elgin and entrainment in Elgin. Time for change.


Ward 2

YaLecia Love

Charles "Chuck" Swain

Traffic will continue to be a problem. Controlled job growth is a must. Continued parks growth with activates for families and youths. And keep taxes under control.


Ward 3

Thomas Ibis

My goals are to use taxpayer funds wisely to represent my constituents' needs.

Al Rodriguez

We can choose embrace opportunities and work together to mitigate the negative. Or, we can choose to let them dictate outcomes to our community’s detriment. I’m optimistic that working together toward a shared vision I have the ability to put action toward shared goals. I’m a long-time Elgin resident with the desire to help create a thriving community for all.


Ward 4

Sue Brashar

My name is Sue Brashar and I am running for Elgin City Council, Ward 4. I have been a resident of this great town all of my life. My husband, John, and I have a daughter, Paige, who is also a homeowner in this great city. My views and goals are quite simple—to continue working to keep Elgin the great city that we already know it is. With the current growth, I want to ensure that we are working cohesively with all levels of government as well as new and existing business partners to create strong infrastructure as well as foster and sustain the already existing. I also want to continue to work community-wide to ensure that we keep Elgin's unique charm and character even as we grow. As we move forward, my hope is that we add more emphasis on forward-thinking solutions to any and all of our detours along the path. By working and communicating with all of our citizens, we can and will make Elgin an even better place to live, work and play! Be a part of the solution.

Grant Hennig

I am looking forward to providing a voice for all Elginites on the council as we all work together to manage exponential population growth in Central Texas. I will work to provide increased transparency and accountability for all residents to see how their taxpayer money is being managed. Elginites must unite and carefully plan for the brightest future for our hometown.



Elgin ISD Board


District 4

Angie Edmon

If I am granted the opportunity to serve again for the EISD Board of Trustees I will so with a firm commitment to serve the students, staff and community with vision, integrity and responsibility. We face challenges ahead as we recover from the last two pandemic school years and execute our bond package and manage rapid growth. I feel like I am well-equipped with six years of training and experience to effectively help guide our district into an exciting future. I will work diligently along with the other trustees to establish goals and direction for our new Superintendent and their team to lead our students and the growth of our district to be the very best that we can be. I will continue to advocate for high outcomes for our students in both academics and extra curricular involvement from pre-K through graduation. We have such an amazing heritage in this community to build upon and I believe that together we can accomplish anything we put our hearts and minds to.

Joe Cox

I am firm but fair. I do not operate on emotion, but fact. I am open to exploring all the facts of an issue if they come from a credible source and are not emotionally or politically driven.

Stephen Reyes

College and Career Pathways: Offer students the option to select their own career path by continuing to support our students with the dual degree program that lets students earn college credit. Expand our vocational offerings for students to succeed as they enter the workforce. College is not the only option to be a successful high school graduate. There are other career paths and alternatives that all Elgin ISD students can achieve and be productive citizens.

Teacher Shortage: As we face a teacher shortage in Texas, providing mentorship and professional development for new teachers. Provide tuition assistance for aspiring teachers committing to five years in the classroom.

Charter Schools: As a former employee of a charter school, I do not support the idea of having any charter schools in Elgin ISD. Charter schools take away from public funding from school districts across our nation. Many charter schools are for-profit and tend to mishandle public funds. Most charter schools do not offer extracurricular activities for students as their key focus is to force all students into college. Students are frowned upon to attend community college or trade school after college as it is not a success metric for charter schools. College is not the only pathway of success, giving the students a holistic approach to education and to let them choose their career path is why I am against charter schools in our school districts.


District 5

Duane Weber

Patrick Maass

Sarah Gudenkauf

I am running to be a Trustee on the Elgin ISD School Board because I am deeply committed to our community and believe that few things are more important than a high-quality education for all children. I have been a teacher, instructional coach, district leader, and consultant in school districts throughout Texas for 18 years. The next few years will bring important decisions for the leadership of our school district as we look towards growth. I am an active member of the Elgin community and have served in several volunteer capacities for the city and the school district. I will be a voice for educators, parents, and the community on the school board. I lead by listening carefully to people, identifying the problems that need to be solved, and keeping my commitments. My extensive experience in education has strengthened my belief that there are many opportunities for our community to unify and ensure that every school is a place where children thrive. I am currently finishing my Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a focus on school improvement. I will represent all students and their families as a united community.

As a Trustee on the Elgin ISD School Board, I will:

1. Focus on smart growth for the district and accountability for bond funds

2. Update our strategic plan to focus on priorities for the new Superintendent

3. Ensure equal access to school programs and resources for all students


District 7

Jennifer Culver

I chose to run for many reasons. The main reason is due to the schools' ratings. I feel we need to focus in on academics as many of our schools have concerning ratings. Our children deserve a better education, our teachers deserve more support and I'd like to be a part of making that happen. I would bring a very unique position to this board. I think I'm one of the only candidates running that isn't from Elgin. I am from a very small town in Texas, so I know and want to keep the small town feel and togetherness that we have. I also bring to the table my military background. The biggest challenge will be the rebuilding the school's reputation. Already in the community the schools have a bad reputation for specifically the academics and teacher retention. With the coming growth, we need to ensure we are focusing on improving our children's academics. I believe that begins with our teachers. We should find out where our teachers are needing more support, identify the areas and how to improve them and reassess mid year or even on a quarterly basis to make sure the schools will meet the goals set for the school year. I live in District 7, I am the proud Mom of a Wildcat and I want to see her, her classmates and teachers have the absolute best. I want to work with the board and bring our ideas together in order to come up with best possible solutions for our staff and children.

Mary Penson

I have been in the EISD practically all of my life. I graduated from EISD. I have two daughters to graduate here also. I was an active parent and volunteered. I have served on several committees with this EISD also.

I served on the City Council here for eight years. This is where I represented citizens and the City of Elgin. I feel that this experience is similar to the school board and gives me a head start.

I have lots of personal as well as professional experience that would be helpful to me on the school board if/when I was elected for this position.

Thank you for allowing me to share my information!

John R. Altmiller Jr.



Bastrop/Travis Counties Emergency Services District #1

Note: Two positions on this board are up for election, so voters may choose up to two candidates.


Liston Crim

Larry Moseley

Matthew Benson

After living in Elgin for six years, I have decided to run for commissioner for Bastrop/Travis Counties ESD #1. I have dedicated my adult life to public service—with over 25 years in the fire service—in both professional and volunteer roles. I know firsthand how important fire and EMS services are to our community. My experience can aid in building our emergency services infrastructure—by developing programs that ensure our first responders have proper training, staffing, and equipment we can provide the best response to the current and future residents of Elgin and the surrounding areas. With Elgin’s explosive growth forecast, we need to begin planning for this today, so that we are here to answer the call for service as quickly and effectively as possible.



Bastrop ISD Board


Place 7

Ashley Mutschink

I have served on the board for the last nine years. It's the love of the district, students and staff that makes me want to continue to be involved in the future and growth in our school district. The pandemic challenges were difficult to adjust to for everyone. Being able to work with such an incredible staff of educators at the district we were able to open the schools faster and get students back on track sooner to continue their education. I really appreciate the voters' support. I do value the time I have served on the school board. I ask that you see fit to send me back on the board. I am the right choice and I want your vote.

Joseph B. Thompson

I am running for Bastrop ISD School Board Place 7 to bring help provide a better district, a better education, and a better life for all of our children. My main agenda issues are school board election reform, teacher and staff recruitment and retention, curriculum, and educational equity.



Smithville City Council



Tom Etheredge

I am excited to be a candidate for Mayor of Smithville. I believe I have the professional skills, work ethic and commitment to be effective in the position. In addition to my prior experience on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission and as a current City Council member, I bring more than 35 years of business experience and leadership skills, concentrated in the fields of banking, natural resources and real estate.

Growth is coming to Smithville. In fact, it has really already begun. Experienced leadership and business acumen will be needed to successfully prepare for and navigate the challenges associated with that growth. I am committed to finding the right balance between growth and preservation so current and future generations will enjoy the quality of life we all want and deserve.

There are five key priorities worthy of special attention:

1. Supporting our local businesses

2. Economic development

3. Smart growth policies

4. Protecting neighborhoods

5. Investing in our city employees.

I enjoy time spent actively engaged in the entire community, being a ready listener, imagining new possibilities for our community and its citizens, and staying focused on the many number of things we all have in common. I am committed to consensus-building, collaboration and community engagement, and I am excited about the many opportunities and possibilities that lie ahead. I welcome and ask for your support and participation in the pursuit of those.

Sharon Seidel Foerster


Place 4

Cassie Barrientos

Dane Garrison

My entire campaign is focused on 78957. This is the city that I love. I respect my competition, but am fully thankful for the opportunity at hand. I want to represent you.



Smithville ISD Board


District 6

Margarita Igoe

It is important that America remembers its foundation, and voters vote for candidates that will honor and love God, Country and the constitution of the United States of America, because that is your foundation. Every person elected will decide to carry out his or her job in public office with honesty and transparency; as a result of that, our Bastrop County will prosper and enjoy peace.

Joshua Magden

We have three kids—8th grade, 5th grade and kinder—all enrolled in Smithville ISD schools. Our family is "all in" on public schools—we believe in Smithville and we support our schools.

I majored in economics and Spanish and later earned an MBA. I've spent most of the last 22 years in banking and insurance; the banking was public finance—helping rural school districts communicate infrastructure plans to their communities. Today I manage a group of small insurance companies & serve on their corporate boards. I've served on several nonprofit boards and testified on insurance legislation to the Texas state senate and house in 2015 and 2017—both bills became law.

Smithville ISD will see growth in student population, but near-term technology connectivity and teacher retention are two of our biggest challenges. Student-teacher ratios will be stretched with growth. Strategic planning must balance staff resources, and space and renovations down the road. Maximizing resources we already have will be important.

I have more experience in the wide array of topics that a school district faces than other candidates. Building a broad basis of support among parents, businesses, retirees and civic leaders is key to Smithville ISD's future. I won't shy away from hard conversations and decisions, but I'll do my best to be an ambassador for the school district.


District 7

Casey Hanchey

Michael Hancock