Copperas Cove elects two new council members, CCISD incumbent unseated
By LYNETTE SOWELL
There will be a new face at Place 4 on the Copperas Cove city council, as John Hale came out ahead in the polls in the Nov. 8 election, with 3,566 votes, or 54.46 percent. Fellow candidate, Editha Natividad, received 2,982 votes, or 45.54 percent.
Hale expressed his thanks to Copperas Cove voters.
“First and foremost, I want to thank the citizens of Copperas Cove and will do my best to represent them. I would like to thank Jay Manning for his service to the community and hope he takes a well-deserved vacation after 6 years on the City Council.
“Having the support and assistance from family/friends was very important and I cannot thank them enough. Thank you to Mayor Yancey, City Council, City Departments, and the citizens for taking time to meet with me, to answer my questions or ask me questions, this was very much appreciated and helpful. A huge thank you to my beautiful wife for all her support in this process, the next chapter should be exciting.
“I am looking forward to working with the current City Council members, City Departments, and the citizens of Copperas Cove on topics that are important to our community.”
Although Natividad did not win this race, she said she will continue her involvement in the city.
“First, I want to thank our loving God for giving me another day. He has other plans for me. It was a great race. I learned a lot about our City and the job of City Council. I thanked all my friends and family that voted for me and also, to those that didn’t vote for me. The main thing is that…they went and voted,” Natividad said. “I want to thank my loving husband for his continued support. Always on my side. I did enjoy his company, putting up signs. As for me, I will continue to get involved or volunteer in any way I can to our community. I love our City. I want to extend my congratulations to John Hale for winning this race.”
Place 5 will likewise have a new person in the seat, with Manuel “Monty” Montanez being the sole candidate for that spot. He will replace incumbent Dianne Campbell, who withdrew her name from the ballot prior to the election.
For Place 3, incumbent Shawn Alzona will get to serve his first full term in office, as he too was unopposed. Alzona was elected in 2021 to fill the remaining year for Place 3, vacated when Dan Yancey ran for mayor.
Copperas Cove voters also approved Proposition A, which approves the use of 1/8-cent of the city’s sales tax revenue for street maintenance and repair. That measure passed with 4,881 voters in approval and 2,647 against. This is not a “new” sales tax, but rather a reallocation of sales tax that is currently being collected. This 1/8-cent will go from the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation and into the city’s Street Fund. The CCEDC will still be receiving 1/4-cent of the city’s sales tax revenue, as already approved by voters.
The Copperas Cove city council will hold a special meeting on Monday, Nov. 21, at 5 p.m. to canvass the election results.
Meanwhile, Heather Copeland edged out one-term incumbent Jeff Gorres for Place 5 on the Copperas Cove ISD board of trustees.
Copeland received 3,990 votes and Gorres received 3,852, with Copeland winning by a margin of only 138 votes.
“I am looking forward to being a part of the education, safety, and building of our next generations,” said Copeland. “I know that there are financial challenges in this district, and I have a lot to learn. Looking forward to serving our children. I wish the very best to Jeff Gorres and thank him for his service.”
Gorres likewise expressed his thanks and commented on the election results.
“I welcome back Heather and Jim Copeland to the CCISD Board. I am sure they are looking forward to the camaraderie and family atmosphere CCISD offers all,” Gorres wrote in an email. “I am proud of what has been accomplished in the last three years, positive steps for recruiting and retaining high quality dedicated educators, continuous self-assessment in academic efforts, adjusting compensation to the most competitive in our area, renovations across our campuses to include a new trades facility. Most grateful for the concern and care our teammates show for those children of service members that deploy. My family personally experienced the support of CCISD during the multiple combat deployments we went thought prior to my retirement. We are fortunate to have the best School District in the region. As a Father of four with the district, as a Proud husband of a teacher at a Title One school and I will continue to support as needed. Has been a extreme Honor to serve the children and the dedicated, resourceful, caring teammates of CCISD, they deserve only the best from the trustees to serve them with dedication, discernment and commitment.”
On Tuesday, after the early voting and election day numbers had been received from Coryell County, Copeland led by 186 votes, receiving 3,718 to Gorres’ 3,532. Interestingly, there were 1,648 undervotes in that particular race, meaning that 1,648 voters living within CCISD boundaries in Coryell County didn’t select either candidate.
When Bell County results came in later Tuesday evening, Gorres whittled away some of Copeland’s lead, but it wasn’t enough to win the race. A total of 592 Bell County voters cast ballots, 320 more for Gorres and with 272 for Copeland.
Bell County polling locations remained open until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, one hour later, after an extension was granted by the Texas Secretary of State’s office. Bell County’s Ballot Review Board will convene on Tuesday, November 15, to finalize Bell County’s election results. The CCISD board of trustees will then meet on Tuesday, Nov. 22 to canvass the Bell County results.