By Kevin M. Smith
Killeen Daily Herald
Kenny Wells beat Doris Owens in the Killeen City Council race for District 1. Wells garnered 282 votes to Owens' 151.
In the other contested council race, incumbent Fred Latham kept his seat by beating Harold Butchart for the District 3 seat on the council. The vote was 336 to 140.
Wells, 54, a lifelong Killeenite and a graduate of Killeen High School who owns a chain of coin-operated laundries, said his election continues a family tradition. His father and grandfather both served on the council.
"I'm proud to continue that tradition," Wells said Saturday night after the win in his first run for City Council.
He said continuing the legacy did not put any pressure on him to run.
"I always wanted to do it, and I saw an opportunity to do it this time," Wells said.
Owens, 57, has lived in Killeen for more than 40 years and also graduated from Killeen High School. This was her second attempt at gaining a seat on the City Council as she campaigned unsuccessfully for an at-large seat last year.
The substitute teacher is currently a junior at Tarleton State University with an eventual goal of teacher certification.
Owens said losing was not the biggest disappointment.
"They (the number of voters) were just awfully low," she said.
Owens said she wishes Wells success on the council and plans to run again in the future.
"A quitter never wins, and a winner never quits," Owens said.
Latham, 58, is a lifelong resident of Killeen and is also a Killeen High School graduate. The real estate broker has sat on the council 14 of the last 18 years including time as mayor.
Butchart, 59, retired from the Army in March. The military has taken him to many places, but he now calls Killeen his home. Like Owens, Butchart said losing was not the biggest disappointment of the night.
"I'm disappointed by the turnout," he said. "The turnout is unbelievable."
Butchart said he will likely run again.
Juan Rivera, 56, was the only candidate who filed to run in District 2 and thus automatically won his seat. Rivera, an insurance broker, has lived in Killeen for 23 years since retiring from the Army.
Claudia Brown, 66, also got her seat automatically after being the only candidate to file in District 4.
The retired elementary school principal has lived in Killeen for two years.
Turnout for Saturday's election was 4.6 percent of registered voters.
Contact Kevin M. Smith at email@example.com or call (254) 501-7550