A former Killeen city manager running for Bell County judge will be facing another former Killeen official in the race for the Commissioners’ Court seat Nov. 6.

David Blackburn, the president of the Temple Economic Development Corporation and former city manager of both Temple and Killeen, will face Ernest Wilkerson, of Killeen, a former Killeen councilman who is challenging for the seat as an independent write-in candidate.

Wilkerson’s name will not be on the ballot, but voters can write it in. Write-in candidates names have to be spelled correctly to be counted, but the polling booths should have the correct spelling available, election officials said.

Computerized ballots have an option to choose a keyboard to type in the name.

Blackburn, who was unopposed in the Republican primary for the nomination, came on with the city of Killeen in 1992, when he became the city attorney.

He took over the role of city manager in 1999, and held that title until he resigned in 2005.

He then went on to serve as Temple’s city manager for nearly 10 years, before retiring in 2014.

Blackburn could not be reached for comment this week.

Wilkerson served on the council from 2009 to 2011, resigning soon after his uncontested re-election to the District 4 seat in May 2011.

At the time he resigned, the council was in the middle of recall proceedings that would eventually lead to ouster of five council members. Michael Lower was later appointed to fill Wilkerson’s seat.

On Thursday, Wilkerson said his primary goals as county judge would be monitoring the rapid growth of the county, ensure adequate emergency services personnel and promoting cooperation among county and local officials.

“Foresight and preparation are key attributes to sustaining growth,” Wilkerson said.

“Planning for roads and bridges across Bell County requires cooperation with our cities, surrounding counties, and the state. The Commissioner’s Court will serve as the primary source for this collaborative effort.”

Whitson will take over Precinct 2 seat

The winner of the Nov. 6 election will take over a commissioners’ court that will see at least one new face when Bobby Whitson, of Harker Heights, takes over the Precinct 2 seat held by longtime commissioner Tim Brown, whom he defeated in the May 22 runoff for the nomination.

Incumbent Precinct 4 Commissioner John Fisher will face Democrat John Driver, of Killeen.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

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