Kerr County Precinct 1 candidate Konrad Wert said he's reached a compromise deal with the Ranch Radio group for equal airtime in his write-in challenge to incumbent Harley Belew, who host a show on one of the group's stations.
Wert will receive 47 one-minute spots across the group's radio stations The Fox, The River, The Ranch and The Patriot. On The Patriot, Belew spends 15 hours per week hosting a talk show that focuses on politics, including discussion about Kerr County Commissioners Court issues.
In addition, Wert will receive one hour of air time through the Nov. 3 election. Wert probably could have got more time, but he was pleased with the agreement.
"This is Harley's job and I'm not trying to limit his free speech," Wert said.
Wert faces an uphill battle against Belew as a write-in challenger, but he also went in a direction to complain to the Federal Communications Commission about Belew's airtime.
Belew's presence, including his commercial work, on the public airwaves was a clear conflict under federal law, which clearly spells out cases of conflict where an elected official is given airtime during an election.
If Belew was being interviewed by a news program, Ranch Radio would not have to provide equal time.
A provision of the Federal Communications Act of 1934 requires that when a political candidate appears on the air, any other candidate may request air time for an equal fee within seven days of the appearance of the first candidate, according to Michael Schneider, vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs for the Texas Association of Broadcasters.