One Copperas Cove city council race, special election on the line
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Coryell County turned out to the tune of more than 19,000 during three weeks of early voting which took place Oct. 13-30 – 19,218 ballots cast, to be exact.
At the two early voting locations, 10,528 showed up to the polls at the Copperas Cove Civic Center to vote, with 6,440 voting at the Gatesville Civic Center. As of Oct. 30, 2,250 mail-in ballots had been received.
Polls are open Tuesday Nov. 3 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
There are two positions on the Copperas Cove city council up for reelection, Places 6 and 7.
In the race for Place 6, incumbent Marc Payne is being challenged by candidates Terri Deans, Vonya Hart, and Gary Kent. For this race, one of the four must receive more than 50 percent majority of the votes. If no candidate receives that majority vote, there will need to be a runoff election, according to city charter.
Marc Payne is a longtime area resident, veteran, small business owner, and is currently the incumbent for Place 6. He is also a board member of the Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful Commission and has held positions on various city boards and within the community.
Theresa “Terri” Deans and her husband moved to Texas from North Carolina with their two daughters in 2003 when Deans was offered a job at the U.S. Army Operational Test Command at West Fort Hood as an Education Development and Training Specialist. Deans worked at USAOTC until 2011 before transferring to a temporary assignment in Kuwait as a civilian personnel actions liaison. She returned from Kuwait in 2012 and resumed at USAOTC. She retired with 37 years of federal service in 2014. Deans and her husband are members of Central Texas Disaster Action Response Team (CEN-TX DART) and are certified instructors for Community Emergency Response Training (CERT).
Vonya Hart, raised in Rhode Island, first moved to Copperas Cove with her late husband via the military in 1998. She holds a Master’s degree in Counseling and Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. The mother of three boys, Hart is a Licensed Professional Counselor, currently employed as a Military Family Life Counselor.
Gary Kent is married, with three adult children and three granddaughters. Born in St. Louis, Mo., he served 24 years in the United States Army where he retired as a First Sergeant with three combat tours of service and is also a retired Chief of Police. Kent has four college degrees and is finishing his fifth degree now, and plans on starting his doctoral degree in 2021. He is presently a senior pastor and a sheriff deputy. Kent previously served on the Copperas Cove city council.
In the race for Place 7, incumbent Jack Smith is running unopposed.
There is also a special election on the ballot for Copperas Cove voters, a sales tax election in which the current 1/8-cent of sales tax being collected for street and road repairs must be reapproved by voters in order to continue.
For more information about city council candidates and sample ballots, visit the Leader-Press’ Election 2020 webpage at https://www.coveleaderpress.com/election-2020.
Registered voters must present a form of identification to include a Texas driver’s license or identification card issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety, a Texas election identification certificate or Texas license to carry a handgun (also issued by DPS), a United States military identification card with photograph, or United States passport.
Voters who don’t have any of the above identification may fill out a declaration at the polls explaining why and bring one of the following supporting documents to include a valid voter registration certificate; certified birth certificate (must be an original); copy of or original current utility bill; copy of or original bank statement; copy of or original government check; copy of or original paycheck; copy of or original government document with your name and an address (original required if it contains a photograph).