COPPERAS COVE — The city’s Place 2 City Council race may require a runoff election, according to unofficial vote totals.
Mark Peterson received 2,591 (50.2 percent) of the votes cast, while Azeita Taylor captured 1,730 votes (33.52 percent). Sandor Vegh received 840 votes (16.28 percent).
Since Peterson received more than 50 percent of the votes in the race, he would appear to be the winner, with no runoff needed.
But according to the county elections office, a total of 8,202 Copperas Cove residents voted in Coryell County and 194 voters in Lampasas County during Tuesday’s election.
According to the Secretary of State’s website, a candidate must have 50 percent of the total vote to avoid a runoff, but the site did not state if that number was a percentage of the individual race or the total votes cast in the election.
“I really thought I would get over 50 percent (of the total votes), and we wouldn’t have to have a runoff election,” said Peterson.
If it is decided the top two vote-getters — Peterson and Taylor — will face off in a runoff election, it will take place on Dec. 18.
“If it turns out that we are going into a runoff, we are ready for it,” said Taylor, who said she would wait to hear from the city this morning for its vote count.
As a precaution, the city already had scheduled the runoff, with early voting beginning in Dec. 6 and running through Dec. 14.
Peterson, a retired Army sergeant major, has served on several city boards and organizations. He is the former Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Bureau board chairman. He also previously served as city councilman, but was recalled from the office in 2008.
“I think those that voted for Vegh, those votes can push the top,” said Taylor. “As long as there is a runoff, I am in it to win it.”
Taylor, a former Copperas Cove Leader Press editor, started volunteering for the city earlier this year and now sits on the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the city’s hotel/motel tax board.
Vegh, a retired civil servant, has served Copperas Cove as a volunteer for several years. He is a member of the planning and zoning commission, the golf association, the Copperas Cove Exchange Club, the Optimist Club, the Police Alumni Association and serves on the Boys and Girls Board of Directors.
While neither of the two candidates still in the race mentioned withdrawing on Tuesday, they have three days to make a decision about continuing into December.
City Secretary Jane Lees said the candidates have until 5 p.m. Thursday to withdraw. If no one does, the city would be obligated to hold a runoff election.
“Since there is only one race on our election ballot, we could cancel the election,” Lees said. “If someone does withdraw, the remaining candidate is considered election winner.”