Payne lands place 6 spot on city council in runoff
By LYNETTE SOWELL
It was about 10 p.m. on Tuesday evening by the time Marc Payne’s phone stopped ringing and notifying him of congratulatory messages for winning the runoff election against John A. Hull for Copperas Cove city council place 6.
The two had emerged in an almost tie in the November 7 election, with Hull barely edging out Payne with 524 and 518 votes, respectively. On Tuesday, the number showed that Payne pulled ahead of Hull in the polls, and then some.
Payne said he was supposed to be at a dinner at Giovanni’s around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, but had one eye on the TV and one eye on his phone while waiting for election results to come in after 7 p.m.
Then he saw he was ahead of Hull by nearly 2 to 1 in the early voting numbers.
“It was encouraging because I had done really well in the early voting.” About that time is when Payne said he received a call notifying him of the final unofficial results.
Payne talked about his efforts to get the voters to come to the polls and drew on his past experience as a volunteer.
“When working with the American Red Cross blood drives, reminding people the day of the blood drive, you would get more people,” Payne said. “So we had four trucks that drove around with signs in the bed…We increased the average drive of 90 units to 250 units. We did it twice in a row and got the same results.
“I learned that if you remind people that they need to get out, they won’t put it off. I’m afraid we would have had a much lower turnout for either side if we hadn’t reminded people to vote.”
Payne constructed his own large signs, mounted them in the bed of his trucks and parked his vehicles at visible locations, such as parking one truck in the Cove Terrace Shopping Center parking lot on runoff election day.
He came out ahead of Hull in the polls, 410 votes to Hull’s 230, or 64.06 percent to 35.94 percent.
During the election, Payne campaigned both for himself and against the proposed municipal development district on the November 7 ballot. He took a moment to reflect on the past months and what lies ahead for the City of Copperas Cove.
“I’d like to thank my opponent, John Hull, for a very fair and competitive race. I’d especially like to thank everyone who supported and voted for me,” Payne said in a statement. “I am humbled by this win and I look forward to serving all of the citizens of Copperas Cove, to move the city in a positive direction thru common sense fiscal responsibility. Once again, I am very grateful to the voters.”