By Taylor Short

The Cove Herald

Six candidates have filed to run for the three open Copperas Cove City Council positions in the May 8 municipal elections, with one incumbent, three former council members and two newcomers. Candidates include:

R. Ray Gatewood

City Council, Place 3

R. Ray Gatewood, 56, was born in Lonoke, AR where he graduated from high school.

He earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the State University of New York before serving in the Army for 26 years.

While in the Army, Gatewood earned his master's in divinity and a doctorate in ministry from Baylor University's Truett Theological Seminary. He has worked 25 years in ministries and has been pastor at Bethesda Fellowship Ministries in Copperas Cove for 12 years.

Gatewood formerly served on the city council from June 2004 to May 2007 and served one year on the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Gary Kent

City Council, Place 3

Gary Kent, 45, grew up in St. Louis, MO and served 24 years in the Army before retiring as a 1st Sgt.

He served 15 years in law enforcement and is currently a facilities manager at Fort Hood.

He is a member of the Lions Club, the Exchange Club and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8577 in Copperas Cove.

Danny Palmer

City Council, Place 4

Danny Palmer, 61, grew up in Lexington, NC. He joined the Army in 1969 and served as a Command Sgt. Maj. working with Patriot missile systems for 31 years.

Palmer is currently serving his second consecutive term with the city council and is also a member of the Boys & Girls Club of America.

Palmer has two children and two grandchildren.

Mark E. Peterson

City Council, Place 4

Mark E. Peterson was born in Meadville, PA on Jan. 27, 1957. He served in the Army for 29 years as a combat engineer.

He retired in September 2009 after working in real estate with Caldwell Banker for four years. Peterson served on the council from July 2007 to November 2008.

He is a member of the National Exchange Club, on the board of governors for the Association of the U.S. Army and Chairman of the Board for the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce.

John Gallen

City Council, Place 5

John Gallen, 59, grew up in Milwaukee, WI where he attended high school.

He studied biology at Marquette University and was commissioned by the Reserve Officers Training Corps.

He served in the Army as a chemical officer for 20 years before retiring in 1993.

Gallen is currently working on his 17th year as a special education teacher at Copperas Cove High School.

Gallen served two terms on the city council from 2001 to 2007 and is the current chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission. He was the president of the Friends of the Copperas Cove Library for 10 years and was a member of the Chamber of Commerce board.

Kenn Smith

City Council, Place 5

Kenn Smith, 78, was born, raised and attended high school in Taylor.

He attended Southern Oregon University and Pepperdine University.

He served 21 years in the Air Force as a Master Sgt. and 14 years as an Education Services Officer with the Navy.

Smith also served six years as dean of the college's Navy Campus and nine years as an instructor. He performed volunteer work for the Copperas Cove Police Department and was a member on the most recent city charter review committee.

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