TERLINGUA — Driving from Austin to the Big Bend area today, one would hardly notice that an election was almost upon us. I saw very few signs for political candidates at any level of government while driving along a route that went through Cedar Park, Burnet, Llano, Mason, Menard, Junction, Sonora, Ozone and Alpine to Terlingua.
I counted four signs for Donald Trump, all in Burnet and Llano Cos., and I saw no signs for Hillary Clinton. There was a single sign each for Senate candidate Dawn Buckingham and for U.S. Rep. John Carter. I saw five signs for former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego in Alpine, several more in the Study Butte-Terlingua area and none for U.S. Rep. Will Hurd. My driving route took me past Brewster Co. Republican Party headquarters, and there were no signs up outside or posted along the wooden fence lining the highway.
Gallego held a town hall meeting in Terlingua on Monday, and signs from that event were still standing around the area today.
The overwhelming majority of political signs along the route belonged to the candidates vying for the open district attorney’s seat here in Brewster and in neighboring Jeff Davis and Presidio Cos. Democrat Jamie Escuder had a slight advantage over Republican Sandy Wilson. Incumbent Rod Ponton lost the Democratic primary to Escuder in part because he failed to win a conviction in the murder trial of a Terlingua local, Glenn Felts, who owned the La Kiva bar just down the highway.
Otherwise, one would hardly know that a general election was a month away.