Killeen Councilman Terry Clark rode an apparent election day surge of support Saturday to claim re-election to his District 3 seat in a close race with Mayor Pro Tem Mike Lower.
Preliminary numbers showed Clark garnered 316 total votes and Lower finished with 256.
Results from early voting, which ended Tuesday, indicated Clark had been down by eight, with 151 votes, compared to Lower’s 159, when the polls opened Saturday.
After an emotional victory over a fellow councilman and friend, Clark said he was anxious to get home and sleep.
“Elections count,” Clark said. “Thank you for trusting me to do the work of the citizens.”
The charter election also was successful for the 33 amendments proposed by the Killeen City Council, many of which passed by more than a 2-to-1 margin.
The closest margin was 69 votes for Proposition 8, which pertained to check-signing authority for the assistant city manager.
Mayor Dan Corbin — who had campaigned for Lower — was glad to see that the charter amendments passed.
“I am pleased that the voters have seen the necessity of passing these charter amendments,” Corbin said.
Redistricting forced Lower, who currently serves District 4, and Clark to run against each other for the District 3 seat.
Lower was appointed to the District 4 seat on the council after Ernest Wilkerson resigned in 2011.
Clark defeated incumbent JoAnn Purser in May 2011 to win the District 3 spot.
The two councilmen spent six months serving together with Mayor Tim Hancock, after the 2011 recall ousted the rest of the council.
Clark said the time he spent walking blocks with his team during the campaign may have made the difference in the end.
“I walked a lot farther than 316 steps (referring to his votes),” Clark said.
Lower declined comment after the final voting totals were announced.
A 50-year-old technology specialist for Killeen schools, Clark was led out of City Hall by a crowd of enthusiastic friends, family and political supporters.
“People voted for somebody that wasn’t handpicked and somebody that will represent them fairly,” said Marianne Miller, chair of the Bell County Democratic Party.
The council will canvass the official election results Tuesday, which also include three uncontested races — Wayne Gilmore in District 1, Jose Segarra in District 2 and newcomer Steve Harris in District 4.
Contact Brandon Janes at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7552