Four candidates are running to be the next mayor of Copperas Cove, all with their own ideas on how to push the City Built for Family Living forward.
Joey Acfalle, Bradi Diaz, Ron Nelson and Brandi Weiand are the candidates.
Per the City Charter, a special election must be held within 120 days following the death of Mayor Frank Seffrood, who died of cancer Dec. 28 at the age of 79. Seffrood was elected Dec. 11 to his second term as mayor, defeating Azeita Taylor in a runoff election for the post.
Taylor, who was narrowly defeated by Seffrood in the runoff, said her decision not to run in the special election was difficult.
“Many Copperas Cove citizens were pushing for me to run again, not just because I was so close in the last election, but because they looked forward to my style of leadership and community values,” Taylor said. “It was in my heart to run and run well, but after long contemplation, I felt that at this time in my life, due to my focus on school and career changes, I could not give our citizens the focus they deserve.”
Early voting is April 10-23, and the election is April 27.
All voting will take place at the Coryell County Justice Center, 210 S. First St. in Copperas Cove.
Here’s some info on who the candidates are and their goals:
Acfalle enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps from November 1987 to January 1999. In 2000, he joined the Army, and then the Army National Guard in 2005, then returned to the Army in 2007. Acfalle also has experience in the legal field and computer science.
Acfalle has a paralegal certification in 1999 from Loyola Marymount University in California. In 1999, he attended Saddleback Community College with emphasis in computer software development. In 2003, he attended the University of Phoenix in Missouri, with emphasis in business management.
He is a sitting director on the Economic Development Corporation. A resident of Cove since 2010, he said he aims to spur growth through encouraging more manufacturing distribution groups in the city.
The EDC director ran for mayor in the regular cycle against Seffrood and Taylor. Before that, he ran for Coryell County court clerk, which he said was his first attempt at trying to secure a seat as a local official.
If elected, Acfalle hopes to instill a greater sense of transparency.
“The citizens here in Copperas Cove basically look to me, saying most of the ideals and the transparency that I always give and provide to the citizens is what they’re looking forward to,” Acfalle said.
Diaz, a former councilwoman and mayor, was born and raised in Copperas Cove, graduating from Copperas Cove High School in 1987 and then from Tarleton State University in Stephenville with a Bachelors of Business Administration.
She has worked in her family’s property management business since graduating from college and currently serves as a general partner and CFO. She and her husband also own a flooring business in Copperas Cove.
“I was appointed to serve on the Copperas Cove Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee in 1994 and it was during this appointment I realized my love for community service,” Diaz said. “Since that time I have been involved with numerous civic and non-profit organizations.”
Diaz’s past involvement includes the Board of Adjustments, Planning and Zoning Commission, Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors, Copperas Cove Education Foundation, Heart of Texas Defense Alliance board of directors and the Metroplex Health Systems board.
If elected, Diaz aims to work with other community entities to foster positive and collaborative relationships, promote economic and residential growth and help facilitate t he completion of several projects.
Nelson is a software developer with 25 years of experience in a variety of roles, including programmer, technical team lead, and VP of IT Engineering.
In 2006, he and his wife, Evelyn, moved from Chicago to Austin, where he worked with the local water conservation district to create software solutions for managing the district. In late 2014, after searching for a more affordable and comfortable place to live, the couple moved to Copperas Cove.
Nelson is involved with the local library, mentoring all ages in technology including 3D printing, microcontrollers, programming, and more.
“I’ve wanted to play a larger part in the community for some time now,” Nelson said.
“The special election prompted me to accelerate my time-frame. Being mayor is a lofty goal, but one which allows me to understand and take part in all areas of the city.”
Nelson’s goals include improving roadwork, utilities, attracting more businesses and various staffing shortages in the city.
Weiand could not be reached for comment after multiple attempts to contact her throughout the week.
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