By Hailey Persinger

Killeen Daily Herald

Harold Butchart, mayoral candidate and sole opponent of incumbent Tim Hancock, appeared Monday at a fundraising event hosted by Hancock's campaign.

Split into two parts, the fundraiser was half city business, half campaign rally. Though Hancock's camp deemed the rally invitation-only, the incumbent mayor's stump speech included bits of information considered to be city business. With four council members in attendance and the speech revolving around city issues, the city's legal department designated that portion of the event as a Killeen City Council workshop.

Failure to legally denote discussion of city business by four or more council members results in a walking quorum - an act that can result in sizable fines and jail time.

Since the city posted Hancock's rally as a workshop item, doors to the event were open to anyone during his speech, including his opponent.

Butchart said prior to the event that he would attend in hopes of making a statement against Monday's special city council workshop.

He said he believed the mayor's calling of such a workshop was "questionable of the incumbent

mayor's judgment."

Councilman Kenny Wells said that while Butchart's own arrival could be questionable, the event's designation as a workshop allowed anyone through the doors.

"Normally I would say it wasn't kosher," Wells said. "But it was posted as a workshop item so anyone can come."

Councilman Larry Cole and current at-large candidate echoed the latter portion of Wells' sentiment.

"(Butchart's attendance) doesn't bother me one bit," he said. "It all goes toward democracy."

Hancock declined to comment on the record regarding Butchart's attendance.

Voters will decide May 8 whether Butchart will take over or if Hancock will begin his third term as mayor. Three city council member-at-large positions also will be decided.

Contact Hailey Persinger at haileyp@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow her on Twitter at KDHcity.

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