This story has been updated.
Republicans nominated Grant Moody as their candidate to finish the last two years of Trish DeBerry’s four-year term representing Precinct 3 on the Bexar County Commissioners Court on Thursday night.
“I’m super excited about the opportunity,” said Moody. “Coming in, I knew I had a good base of support and I’ve been working really hard talking to precinct chairs, but you kind of never know.”
Moody defeated Marialyn Barnard in the final round of votes with 74 votes. Barnard took 28 votes.
Barnard was appointed by Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, a Democrat, after DeBerry left the seat to run for county judge. She will continue to represent the precinct until a replacement is chosen in the November special election.
“I am happy for Grant. I think he’ll do a great job,” said Barnard. “Anyone who goes in there has a lot to learn. It’s drinking from the fire hose.”
Barnard, a former 4th Court of Appeals justice, had already been raising money for the general election and recruited precinct chairs to support her in Thursday’s nominating meeting.
Republican precinct chairs in Precinct 3 gathered at Aggie Park on Thursday night to choose between nine candidates: Moody, Barnard, former councilman Carlton Soules, conservative activists Patrick Von Dohlen and Patty Gibbons, former Hollywood Park Mayor David Ortega, William Peche, Nathan Buchanan and Bill Librera.
Councilman Clayton Perry was nominated from the floor, but his candidacy was not included because he wasn’t in attendance to fill out the party’s eligibility form.
In the first round of candidate speeches, Barnard faced criticism from Soules, who said she’d spent her time on the court voting with Wolff and the Democrats. Soules and Von Dohlen threw their support behind Moody before the final vote.
“I’m glad that in the end, the Republican precinct chairs voted for the more conservative candidate out of the other two that were remaining,” said Von Dohlen. “We have an opportunity to have a true conservative who believes in conservative principles to be elected to represent us.”
After three rounds of votes, Moody and Barnard were the final contenders.
“We have our candidate, he’s a Republican, and as the Republican Party, we’re going to back our candidate,” said Bexar County GOP Chair Jeff McManus, a conservative firebrand who ousted his predecessor. He initially hoped to use the unusual nomination process to steer the party toward conservative candidates.
Moody, 42, is a Marine pilot who currently serves as director of innovation and low carbon fuels at Valero. He previously worked at USAA and consulted for McKinsey & Company.
He presented precinct chairs with a packet of his accomplishments, including an endorsement from former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Moody will face Democrat Susan Korbel in November.
Korbel, 73, runs her own public opinion and market research firm. Its list of clients includes the H.E. Butt Foundation and the Lawton Family of Restaurants.
Korbel said she has contributed $30,000 of her own money to her campaign and raised roughly $23,000. Campaign finance reports covering the months of April, May and June are due July 15.