COPPERAS COVE — Candidates running in local municipal and school board elections cite having a vested interest in the community as a reason for entering the Nov. 5 contests.

In the city elections, Azeita “Z” Taylor, 42, and Marty Smith, 67, are vying for the Place 4 Copperas Cove City Council seat currently held by Danny Palmer, who is term limited and ineligible to run again.

“I am running for city council because I love this community, and I am vested in its interests and its residents,” said Taylor, a former Cove Leader-Press editor. “Since I am slightly younger than those currently serving, I also feel that I could bring a different flavor, if you will, to our council.”

Smith, the former chamber of commerce president, gave a similar answer about her decision to seek the position.

“I know that with my diverse background of Military Affairs (Committee) civic involvement and leadership combined with my business management background, I will be a valued addition to the Copperas Cove City Council,” said Smith, a former rancher and business manager.

Smith and Taylor currently serve on several city boards and are members of several civic organizations. They want to strive to represent residents if they are elected Nov. 5.

“I work well with people and will listen to all sides of an issue to help ensure the right decision is made in the best interest of all concerned,” Smith said. “I will handle all matters with a positive approach and a positive solution.”

Taylor said she would listen to the “voice of the people” and care for their needs.

“There is nothing worse than career politicians who wield their own selfish agendas and forget to question the impact on the residents who voted them into office in the first place,” Taylor said. “Being that I understand I would be merely one voice on a council of seven, I want to be that ‘one voice for the many.’”

Cove ISD Board of Trustees

Incumbent Doug Cook, 75, and Jeff Gorres, 46, are opposing each other for the Place 5 seat on the Copperas Cove Independent School District Board of Trustees. Both said they want to ensure education comes first in the district.

“I believe my school board duties are part of my civic duty to pay back for blessings that I have had,” said Cook, a retired engineer.

“I just want to ensure that (the children) get a great education. That is the cornerstone of America — our kids — and they are also the cornerstone of Texas and Copperas Cove.”

Cook, who is married to Smith, has served on Cove ISD’s board since 2010. He currently has three grandchildren enrolled in the school system. Cook also is a member of the Copperas Cove Education Foundation.

Gorres, who is active-duty military, has been involved with Martin Walker’s Parent-Teacher Association for several years. The father of four is running because he believes more parents should take on roles in the education process.

“I think we just have to get more parents involved in the school district,” Gorres said.

“I think we can be more representative, especially on the military side of the house and special needs.”

Gorres has a child with special needs.

If elected, Gorres said, he would make sure the district’s fiscal resources are focused on teachers and other staff.

“I want to make sure they have the tools to enable the success for our kids,” Gorres said.

“Just common sense on day-to-day activities.”

Cook said if he is re-elected, he will continue to work on the educational growth of the school system.

“I want to see an enlargement of our technical and workforce programs and maybe get some more (focus on) citizenship,” Cook said.

Contact Mason W. Canales at ​ or (254) 501-7474

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.