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Bobbi Dreiling wins race to become next Ellis County Clerk

India Yarborough
iyarborough@cjonline.com
Bobbi Dreiling, left, looks at the computer screen of administrative assistant Judy Werth on Tuesday night at the Ellis County Administrative Building. Dreiling, a Republican and current deputy clerk, won the race for Ellis County Clerk by more than 11,000 votes, defeating the write-in campaign of Democrat Laura Allen.

Deputy clerk Bobbi Dreiling, a Republican, successfully defeated the write-in campaign of Democratic candidate Laura Allen on Tuesday, becoming Ellis County’s next county clerk.

According to unofficial results released Tuesday night by the Ellis County Election Office, Dreiling garnered 11,159 of the 11,888 votes cast in the race for county clerk. The preliminary results indicated there were 729 write-in votes.

Dreiling is expected to step into the county clerk role in January, replacing current County Clerk Donna Maskus, who is retiring after 41 years in the county clerk’s office.

“I’m excited about it,” Dreiling said of stepping into the new role.

She has served as Maskus’ deputy clerk for almost eight years and said she has learned a lot while in that position.

“I’ve learned how to do the tax role. I’ve learned how to run elections. I’ve done all the accounts payable,” Dreiling said. “Those are the big, main things.”

Maskus said the county clerk’s office will be in good hands.

“She’s been my deputy, my right-hand person,” Maskus said. “She’s ready to step right in there.”

As county clerk, Dreiling will also serve as election officer, and she hopes to maintain the high voter turnout seen in this year’s general election.

Preliminary results indicated nearly 71% of registered Ellis County voters cast ballots in Nov. 3 election, surpassing the 67% voter turnout seen in 2016 and the 65% voter turnout seen in 2012.

More than 34% of this year’s votes in the county were cast via absentee ballot. In 2016, only about 8% of registered voters requested a mail-in ballot, according to previous reporting by The Hays Daily News.

“It feels grand. It really does,” Maskus said of the high voter turnout. “People have been so good about waiting. There were lines today. There have been lines through the advance voting. … They’ve been real patient with it, and it’s just a great turnout. People have taken the time to exercise that right.”

Also on the ballot in Ellis County Tuesday were two county commission races.

In the 2nd county commission district, Republican Neal Younger ran unopposed and received 3,665 votes.

In the 3rd district, Republican incumbent Dean Haselhorst defeated Democratic challenger Lisa Boyd 3,556 votes to 991.

In the race for county treasurer, Republican Vernon Ruder, Jr., won against Democratic opponent Julie Mercer. Ruder received 8,517 votes to Mercer’s 2,871. There were also 1,528 write-in votes in that race, as incumbent Lisa Schlegel launched a write-in campaign after losing to Ruder in the Republican primary.

Republican Rebecca Herzog was elected Ellis County’s register of deeds. She ran unopposed and received 11,406 votes.

Republican Robert Anderson, Jr., ran unopposed in the race for Ellis County District Attorney, receiving 11,334 votes.

And Scott Braun, also a Republican, ran unopposed in the race for Ellis County Sheriff, receiving 11,692 votes.