Deans, Hart headed for runoff for Copperas Cove city council election

By BRITTANY FHOLER 

Cove Leader-Press 

 

Terri Deans and Vonya Hart will be heading to a run-off election following the Nov. 3 general election for City Council Place 6. 

The votes were tallied and final unofficial results were released Tuesday evening a couple hours after the polls closed. The results are considered “final unofficial” and do not become “official” until the city council canvasses the election results at the November 12 meeting. An updated tally was released, including votes cast for the city’s election by Lampasas County voters who reside within Copperas Cove city limits. 

For the City Council Place 6 race, a total of 9,576 people voted in Coryell County, while 302 people voted in Lampasas County. 

With 33.35 percent of the vote (3,294 votes) Terri Deans led the race for Place 6, with Vonya Hart following with 22.83 percent of the vote (2,255 votes). Incumbent Marc Payne earned 21.91 percent (2,165 votes) and Gary Kent earned 21.91 percent (2,164 votes). 

Interestingly, a total of 2,220 Copperas Cove voters didn’t vote for any of the four candidates for Place 6, with those “no votes” counted as undervotes.

Deans spoke with the Leader-Press the day after the election. 

“I’m very pleased with the results, and I’m very pleased at the overall voter turnout was as wonderful as it was,” Deans said. “I mean, I know it’s a national election but that’s no excuse to ignore your local elections, because the people down at this level are the ones that make the decisions for the community themselves, not the big federal government, so I’m really happy with the way it turned out.”

Deans also had kind words for her run-off opponent. 

“I think Vonya Hart is a wonderful person, and I wish her all the best, and I wish myself the best,” Deans said. 

Hart was excited about the results as well. 

“This is my first time, you know, stepping out into something that I never thought I would actually step into, but the journey has been amazing,” Hart said. “I am so excited, thrilled, overwhelmed, and I just want to first thank- first of all, all praises to God, and my supporters- I just am just amazed by the overflow of support. Them actually going and making their vote voting for me is just truly amazing. I am just very humbled by it.”

Hart and Deans will go to a run-off election at a date to be determined by the city council. 

Incumbent Marc Payne will continue to serve until the winner of the Place 6 runoff is sworn in. 

Regarding the election results, Payne gave a brief comment to the Leader-Press. 

“I’d like to thank all of the people who supported me and congratulate my opponents on their wins and thank them for a good and fair campaign,” Payne said. “When I first got on the council three years ago, there were eight men on the dais. I encouraged more diversity. Now as I leave the office, there will be four very capable women working to move through the tough and turbulent times.”

The other seat up for election was for Place 7. Incumbent Jack Smith ran again for Place 7, unopposed, and received 8,581 total votes. 

Copperas Cove voters also overwhelmingly approved Proposition A, with 74.69 percent of the vote (8,560 votes), which would continue the city’s allocation of 1/8-cent of every city sales tax funds going to the city’s Street Department to fund street repairs and maintenance. The allocation was first put to the voters back in 2016 and approved with 6,026 for and 1,622 against. It was set to expire and had to be put to the voters again this year to continue. Just over 25 percent of voters (2,900 voters) voted against the proposition this year.

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