By Alicia Lacy
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE – More than three months after Copperas Cove voters recalled four City Council members, Cove residents have spoken and elected a new City Council, with the exception of Place 5, which is headed for a runoff.
The new council members are Cheryl Meredith, Charles "Chuck" Downard and Danny Palmer.
Bill Stephens and David Wilson will face off in a March 17 runoff to decide the Place 5 seat.
Meredith narrowly defeated Charlie Youngs by 53 votes for the Place 1 seat. Meredith finished with 697 votes, while Youngs pulled in 644 votes.
"When they called me and said 'you won,' I was speechless," Meredith said. "Charlie was ahead during the week, but I picked it up tonight," Meredith said after hearing the election results.
"I'm saving my signs. I just want to get through today," Meredith said about running again in May.
"It was very, very close. I knew it was going to be hard because he's got experience. He was kind and generous," she said.
Youngs was unavailable for comment following the election returns.
Downard won Place 3 with 698 votes and opponent Michael Zehr garnered 630 votes.
"The election has been very clean and it's a reflection of what the citizens in the community desire," Downard said.
"Living up to the community logo, the city built for family living, where everyone is working together and there's a team spirit. I'm impressed all nine candidates ran a clean election. All (candidates) dedicated themselves to putting the past behind them for positive things for the city," Downard added.
Zehr was unavailable for comment on the election results.
In winning the Place 4 seat, Palmer received 749 votes against opponent Joseph Solomon who got 627 votes.
"There are so many people that helped me," Palmer said. "Because of the situation with me being in a (wheel)chair they put up signs for me; they helped me knock on doors. People in my neighborhood helped me. It was great. I am humbled," he said.
The Place 5 election had three vying for the seat: Bill Stephens, Konrad Kohler and David Wilson.
Stephens and Wilson were the highest vote-getters, but neither received a majority of the votes. The will be on the ballot for the runoff election in a month.
Stephens pulled in 591 votes, or 44.5 percent of the vote. Wilson received 428 votes, or 32.3 percent, and Kohler garnered 308 votes, or 23.2 percent.
"I'm going to be doing more campaigning and try to get the people who voted this election to get back out and vote again. I was pleased with the turnout and the way the campaign was run and everything was focused on the issues," Wilson said.
"I will continue the strategy I have been using and talk to the voters and contact them directly or via phone banking," Stephens said.
"I encourage our voters to get back again and I appreciate the large turnout we had today, we are eager to get a full council seated again," Stephens added.
"That is up for thought, but no decision there," Kohler said about running for council again.
I wish each and every person who won the best. It was a good election, a clean election," Kohler said.
Contact Alicia Lacy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7476.