Killeen’s upcoming mayoral election took a surprise turn on Friday – the last day candidates could file – when the limited-term mayor, who many believed would take a break from local politics, threw his hat in the race for the Killeen Town Council.
Those wishing to file as a written nominee have until 5 p.m. Friday to do so.
Here is an overview of the evolution of the ballots for the municipal and school elections of May 7.
Council and Mayor of Killeen
Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra said on Friday he was not done serving the town, which is why he chose to run for a seat on city council.
“I want to continue doing what I can to help the community and our citizens grow in a positive direction,” Segarra said in a press release he sent to the Herald on Friday night.
Segarra is completing his third and final consecutive term as mayor. He previously served as a city councilor from 2012 to 2016 and mayor from 2016 to 2022.
If elected, Segarra would not be the first person from Killeen to serve on city council after serving as mayor. Fred Latham did the same, although his story is different from Segarra’s. Latham served on the city council from 2003 to 2009 after serving as mayor from 1998 to 2000. He had also served three successive terms on the city council from 1988 to 1994 and another term from 1996 to 1998.
Mellisa Brown, Rick Williams and Ken Wilkerson, who have repeatedly said in recent weeks that he will not seek re-election, join Segarra in seeking three council seats. The three incumbents are all first-time council members, elected in 2020 after the coronavirus pandemic pushed back the date for municipal elections that year from May to November.
Two other candidates — Ramon Alvarez and Leo J. Gukeisen — are also running for the Killeen seats at large. Both have previously run for Killeen Town Council.
Seats at large are two-year terms, and the first three voters will win; there will be no runoff.
Candidates for mayor of Killeen are current Pro Tem Mayor Debbie Nash-King, Patsy Bracey, James Everard, Tyrone McLaurin and Holly Teel.
Under Killeen’s code of ordinances, Nash-King must step down from his current position no later than 40 days before the election, which would be March 29. To fill the vacancy, the city council must, by majority vote, appoint a qualified successor to fill the remainder, according to the code of ordinances.
Also on the ballot in Killeen will be 13 charter amendments, including requiring an incumbent to immediately resign their seat after dropping another position on the ballot and a proposed increase in compensation of $100 per month to $250 for board members, and $150 per month. at $350 for the mayor.
April 7 is the last day to register to vote for the May 7 elections. April 26 is the last day to submit a request to vote by mail. Early voting runs from April 25 to May 3.
Two longtime tenured members of the Killeen Independent School District school board have not filed to run for their respective seats again in the upcoming May 7 election.
Killeen ISD board members Shelley Wells, Place 1, and Corbett Lawler, Place 3, will not be on the ballot this May 7. Outgoing Board Vice Chair Susan Jones has resubmitted for her Place 2 seat. She will be challenged by David Jones of Harker Heights.
Lenna Barr of Killeen filed for the seat of Lawler’s Place 3 against Oliver Mintz of Killeen. Brenda Adams of Killeen filed for the Wells’ Place 1 seat, against Gerald Dreher of Harker Heights who filed Thursday.
Only two candidates have put forward their candidacy for places in the May 7 ballot in Harker Heights. Both races are undisputed.
Two seats are open in May, the Place 1 seat occupied by Jennifer McCann and the Place 3 seat, held by Jakeline Soriano Fountain.
McCann, who is acting mayor, is self-employed and has lived in Harker Heights for 30 years. She sought re-election for a second three-year term on January 19.
Fountain is ineligible to seek re-election to council because she is time-limited by the city charter, having served two consecutive three-year terms.
Local jeweler Tony Canterino filed for the Place 3 seat on January 19.
He has resided in Harker Heights for 16 years.
Belton officials said the town has held three open races this year on its city council, but no contested races.
Mayor Wayne Carpenter has filed for Council Square 6, while incumbent Daniel Bucher has filed for Square 5.
Stephanie O’Banion filed for the open seat of Place 7 following Councilor Guy O’Banion’s decision not to stand for re-election. She is the wife of Guy O’Banion.
Belton ISD spokeswoman Karen Rudolph announced Friday that the district will have two contested board races as well as a bond election. The races contested include the table seats for Zone 1 and Zone 5.
In Zone 1, incumbent director Jeff Norwood, who is also chairman of the board, will face challengers Dwayne Gossett and Dave Choquette.
Area 5 holder and board secretary Manuel Alcozer will face challenger Brandon Hall.
Zone 3 councilor Suzanne M. McDonald, former school board president, has no objection.
Two incumbent aldermen have filed for re-election in Kempner and are unopposed. Those incumbents are David Richardson in place 1 and Thomas Combs in place 2.
According to City Manager David Williams II, no candidate filed for the Place 5 seat. Incumbent Melba Vandeveer did not seek re-election.
By state law, a majority of sitting aldermen will nominate someone to fill the 5th seat until the next mayoral election. The timing of the appointment will be up to the mayor and council and will depend on whether applications are received from legally qualified candidates, Williams explained.
In the city of Lampasas, three seats are up for grabs: Place 3, Place 4 and Place 6 of the municipal council.
So far, four people have come forward to introduce themselves and all four have done so on January 19.
3rd place holder Chuck Williamson will be unopposed in his bid for re-election.
In the Place 4 race, incumbent Cathy Kuehne is seeking re-election. She will be challenged by Myles Haider.
On May 1, 2021, Haider lost to Mayor TJ Monroe in a race for that seat.
Place 6 incumbent Bob Goodart is also seeking re-election. He will be opposed to Davis Keele.
Two seats on the Lampasas ISD school board are up for grabs. Seat 4 incumbent Jeff Rutland has filed a request to keep his seat uncontested thus far.
In the Place 5 race, three newcomers are vying for the seat occupied by David Millican, who did not seek re-election. The three candidates for the seat are Kelsi Davis, Harvey Stinnett and Chris Valdez.
In Salado, all the incumbents of the three seats to be filled are candidates for re-election. So far, they are also all undisputed.
The seats on the ballot are for mayor and two alderman seats.
Mayor Michael Coggin and Aldermen Jason Howard and Paul Cox asked to keep their seats.
In Salado ISD there are three positions on the ballot. Two are for full three-year terms and one is to fill the remaining two years of an unexpired term due to the death of school board member Jim Hodgin.
The incumbents for the two full terms are Amy McLane, along with Sam Dowdy Jr., Rick Marruffo, Jim Reed and Marlon Reed.
The depositions for the unexpired term are Christi Carlson and Chris Diem.
In Florence, three seats are to be filled: mayor and two aldermen.
So far, a total of five people are vying for the three seats.
Outgoing Mayor Mary Condon has sought re-election, and on Wednesday, Florence resident and retiree David Meredith filed a request to challenge her for the seat.
For the alderman positions, incumbent Debra Bartos Cahill has asked to retain her seat. Amy Hansson and Denise Deichmann are also looking for one of the seats.
Two seats are in the running for the Florence School Board, Place 6 and Place 7.
Place 6 incumbent Jason Earp has sought re-election. He will be opposed by Johna Trantham and Laura Pressley.
No. 7 incumbent Joshua “JT” Atkinson is unopposed in his bid for re-election.
KDH reporter Lauren Dodd and the FME News Service contributed to this report.