Kerr County Commissioner Harley David Belew, who represents Precinct 1 on the county court, spent several minutes on his Monday morning radio show personally attacking his write-in opponent in the Nov. 3 election.
Belew is facing a write-in challenge by Tivy High School teacher Konrad Wert, who decided to run after Belew made several critical comments of George Floyd, whose death earlier this year led to rioting and inflamed racial tensions across the country.
“I’ve been lectured by a leftist vagabond,” Belew said of Wert during the 7 a.m. segment on his morning radio show on The Hill Country Patriot. “I don’t know what his puppeteers are telling him to do. I think he passed an audition maybe, and that’s how he ended up running.”
Last month, Wert earned a compromise agreement with the Ranch Radio Group, which owns the Hill Country Patriot, for equal time on the radio station based on federal law that requires radio owners to either remove those hosts who are running for office or provide an opponent with equal time. Wert received 47 one-minute spots to be played across the group’s station and one hour in Belew’s Saturday time slot.
“I’m not going to be lectured by him or the local lap-dog media, or the people that pay them under the table,” Belew said. “They are not on the moral high ground. They lie about their positions. They don’t reflect Hill Country values. They pretend to care about people in Minnesota. They don’t care about here. How do you care about people you never met?”
Belew continued to accuse print and internet media outlets of colluding against him, and he tried to link a petition that called for his censure on Commissioners Court as part of a conspiracy against him.
“If I don’t represent your values, move to Austin,” Belew said. “They represent your values, or Portland. Stop spewing your left-wing propaganda here. You are the embarrassment.”
Belew was originally running unopposed until his comments drew outrage from hundreds of people. Belew won a seat on the commissioners court in 2016 after narrowly defeating William Rector. During the last several months, Belew has offered a contrarian view about the coronavirus pandemic, arguing it was overblown, and he has resisted wearing a mask in public.
During his show, Belew baselessly accused local media of handpicking Wert to run against him.
“Your write-in candidate is a fly-by-night,” Belew said. “He talks about living here 13 years because that’s the longest he’s lived anywhere. I guess he passed the audition.”
Belew said Wert was running a fake campaign.
“So, now there’s a write-in candidate,” Belew said. “The first step would be to get the camel’s nose in the tent, for somebody who doesn’t know the first thing about our values around here, and not represent us properly.
“There’s a whole bunch of people behind (Wert). He’s the useful dupe. He’s the puppet.”