Thursday is the final day to register to vote for May 6 municipal and school elections.
There are a total of 178,744 registered voters in Bell County, Bell County Elections Administrator Shawn Snyder said Wednesday. This is down from the record 184,757 people who were registered to vote for the November 2016 election.
Melinda Luedecke, assistant elections administrator with Bell County, said 13,725 names were purged from the voter rolls in Bell County on Jan. 25. Luedecke said the county purges the names of voters who cannot be reached due to a change of address or have not voted for two presidential elections.
“If we receive any evidence that they’re voted or moved, they’re reinstated on the rolls,” Luedecke said.
You can register to vote in person at the Bell County Annex in Belton at 550 E. Second Ave.; the annex in Temple at 205 E. Central Ave.; and the annex in Killeen at 307 Priest Drive. You can also register to vote online by visiting VoteTexas.gov.
To be sure if you’re registered to vote, go to www.votetexas.gov and click the “Am I Registered?” tab or call the Bell County elections office at 254-933-5774.
Early voting for the May election begins on April 24 and ends on May 2.
Your last day to apply for a ballot by mail is April 25. Ballot-by-mail applications must be received by that day.
Contested races include:
Killeen City Council
The Killeen City Council will see four unusually competitive races for its district seats May 6.
The 13 candidates running for the four seats is the first time in eight years that every district race has been competitive.
Three of the seats are being contested by first-term incumbents: District 1 Councilwoman Shirley Fleming, District 3 Councilman Jim Kilpatrick and District 4 Councilman Brockley Moore.
Current District 2 Councilman Richard “Dick” Young announced in February he would not seek re-election.
The candidates by district are:
District 1: Fleming, Holly Teel and Kenny Wells
District 2: Debbie Nash-King and Larry Smith
District 3: Kilpatrick, Pasty Bracey, Harold Butchart and Vantonio Fraley (write-in)
District 4: Moore, Stanley Abrahams, Ralph Cossey Jr. and Steve Harris
The candidates were asked about their plans to tackle the rise in violent crime in Killeen, continuing to monitor the city’s fragile financial condition, acting transparently with Killeen residents and bringing high-paying jobs to Killeen. Here’s what they had to say.
The Killeen Independent School District school board election has two seats up for grabs.
Of the seven Killeen school board candidates, five of them will be vying for the Place 5 seat, currently held by school board President Terry Delano. Earlier this year, Delano said he would not be running for re-election. The five newcomers who are trying to get voted into that seat are: Lan Carter, Gerald Dreher, Lonnie Farrow, Bob Snyder and Carlyle Walton.
Incumbent board member Marvin Rainwater and challenger Stephania Williams are running the Place 4 seat.
Candidates have had a chance over the past few months to voice their opinion on some of the issues they will face if elected.
In the coming months, the two elected candidates will need to address a number of relevant issues existing in Killeen ISD including: overcrowding and growth througout the district, open campus lunch policies, a possible fifth high school, the special education department improvement plan, improving A-F state ratings for KISD, financial and other issues.
Harker Heights City Council
Three seats are up for the City Council election in Harker Heights, but only one seat has a contested race.
Two Harker Heights residents filed for the Place 3 seat.
Laurie Williamson McElhiney, a 30-year Harker Heights resident and a retired retail employee, filed Friday afternoon.
Earlier Friday, Jackeline Soriano Fountain, a Heights resident for 18 years and a military retiree, filed for the seat.
McElhiney and Fountain join former Councilman Pat Christ in seeking the seat, which is for an unexpired term that ends in 2019. Christ, a military retiree and retired homebuilder, previously served 12 years on the City Council.
The Place 3 seat came open when its former occupant, Spencer Smith, filed for the mayor’s post earlier this month, vacating the council seat.
Smith is unopposed for the seat, as Mayor Rob Robinson did not seek re-election.
Place 4 incumbent John Reider is unopposed for re-election to his council seat.
The Belton Independent School District has several races on the May 6 ballot, including one that will decide on a $149.7 million bond that would fund two new campuses and other improvements for the booming district.
There are two at-large seats up for grabs in May. Incumbent Jason Carothers, former Belton ISD teacher Janet Leigh, licensed counselor Kerri Pearson and businessman Ty Taggart are vying for the seats. The top two vote-getters will win the at-large seats.
Salado residents will decide if a large area of the village, including the Mill Creek area, can disannex.
Voters will also decide three at-large spots on the Salado board of aldermen. Incumbents David Williams, Michael McDougal and Fred Brown have filed for re-election. Linda Reynolds, Andy Jackson, Christopher Tramel and Judy Fields are also vying for the seats.
Lampasas County will hold a bond election May 6 to give voters the chance to decide whether to construct a new jail for the county.
If the bond passes, the new jail would replace the jail that has been in service for almost 50 years.
Voters will decide May 6 whether to issue a maximum of $18.75 million in bonds to build the new facility.
Lampasas City Council
There are four seats up for grabs this year in the City Council election: the mayor’s seat, Place 1, Place 2 and Place 6.
Mayor Christian Toups did not file for re-election, but mayor pro tempore and current Place 3 Councilwoman Misti Talbert filed to run for mayor. No election will be held for the mayor’s job, and Talbert is expected to receive the position unopposed, according to City Secretary Christina Marez. The council is expected to appoint someone to Talbert’s vacated seat to finish the remainder of her term.
For Place 1, incumbent Chris Harrison is running for re-election and will be challenged by Delana Keele Toups.
For Place 2, incumbent Robert McCauley is running for re-election and has no opponent.
For Place 6, incumbent T.J. Monroe is running for re-election and will be challenged by Kevin Veazey.
The Lampasas Independent School District board has two seats open. One seat is contested.
The Place 6 seat, held by Sam Walker, and the Place 7 seat, held by Ryan Shahan, are up for election this year. Both incumbents have filed.
Robert Goodart will run against Shahan for Place 7.
Voters in the Jarrell Independent School District will decide on a $54 million bond to build a second elementary school, renovate Jarrell Middle School and Jarrell High School, and build a district-wide multi-purpose auditorium at the high school.
Troy residents will decide if local businesses can sell wine within the city.
The city of Bartlett has five people running for two at-large City Council seats. Sharon Randig, Mona Burnett and Jesse Luna are running against incumbents Dean Roome and Barbara Sandobal.
Morgan’s Point Resort
In Morgan’s Point Resort, residents will elect a new mayor and five aldermen to their City Council.
Three people are running for mayor: Mayor pro tem Ric Holmes, Councilman Dwayne Gossett and newcomer Fred Ybanez .
There are seven people running for the open spots on the Council. Incumbents Dennis Green, Brandt Bernstein and Keith Dyer are running for re-election. Newcomers Bruce A. Leonhardt Sr., Ronny Snow, Donna Hartman and Mike Siegfried are also running.
The Killeen Daily Herald’s Election Guide will run Sunday. The special section will address important issues for Killeen, the school district and other area races in the May 6 election.
For more information about candidates, go to kdhnews.com/centerforpolitics and watch for continuing coverage of the election in the Killeen Daily Herald in the weeks ahead.