The race is off, for now.

The Precinct 3 seat on the Bexar County Commissioner’s Court will not be on the March primary ballot after all, according to Jacque Callanen, the county’s election administrator.

The secretary of state’s office had originally instructed Bexar County to extend the March primary filing deadline for Precinct 3 candidates. However, on Friday, that directive was reversed.

The previously extended primary filing deadline would have gathered candidates vying to serve the rest of Precinct 3 Commissioner Trish DeBerry’s unexpired term. DeBerry took office in January and her term was set to end in 2024.

Callanen said the decision hinged upon a section of Texas election code that deals with offices being vacated close to candidate filing deadlines. If a vacancy occurs less than five days before the filing deadline, political parties choose their nominees. Those chosen candidates then go straight to the November general election.

This was an unusual situation, Callanen said. DeBerry filed to run for Bexar County judge on Monday, the last day for candidates to do so.

“We never had a resignation so close to a primary election and the filing deadline,” Callanen said.

In Callanen’s recollection, the last vacancy that was filled by a candidate through the party nomination process was in November 2020. Former judge Ray J. Olivarri of 144th District Court died in January 2020 in the middle of his term, which was set to expire in 2022. That year, the county Republican and Democratic parties nominated Melisa Skinner and Michael Mery for his office, respectively; Mery won and is still serving in that seat.

The county executive committees for the Bexar County Republicans and Democrats will choose nominees for Precinct 3 at a later date, Callanen said. Those committees are made up of the county party chair and precinct chairs.

DeBerry will serve as Precinct 3 commissioner in “hold over status” until Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff appoints her replacement, Wolff said Monday. The appointed commissioner will serve the rest of 2022, until the winner of the November general election takes office in January 2023.

Avatar photo

Jackie Wang

Jackie Wang covered local government for the San Antonio Report.