COPPERAS COVE — City officials declared Mark Peterson the unofficial winner of Tuesday’s council election, and the city may cancel its already-planned runoff election as more mail-in ballots are counted.
According to numbers released by the city secretary Wednesday, Peterson received enough votes to break the 50-percent-plus-one mark for the Place 2 race.
Despite the city charter stating that a majority vote must be acquired from those who voted in a general election, the race itself counts as a single election, said Justin Carothers, Coryell County tax assessor-collecter and voter registrar. A spokesperson for the Secretary of State office echoed Carothers’ explanation.
While Peterson received 2,591 votes (50.2 percent) of Coryell and Lampasas counties’ Copperas Cove voters, ballots coming in from overseas could change the results, City Secretary Jane Lees said in an email.
Peterson’s numbers only broke the 50 percent mark by 10 votes.
“I would say it is less than 100 (ballots) that are out there, and we don’t expect to get many of those back,” Carothers said. “It is only those who are overseas that are still out there, and they may not have voted in the city election.”
Peterson said he was honored to have the majority of the numbers at the polls.
“I am very happy about it because everyone came out and supported me and we won’t be required to have a runoff now,” he said.
He also is looking forward to working on the city’s governing body, said Peterson.
“Hopefully I can bring some additional ideas that haven’t been thought of yet, and support ideas that already are there that need to be finished,” he said.
Peterson, a former board chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and retired sergeant major, ran against Azeita Taylor, a former Leader Press editor, and Sandor Vegh, a retired civil servant.
Taylor received 1,730 votes (33.52 percent), and Vegh received 840 votes (16.28 percent).
Taylor said she doesn’t expect the overseas ballots to make a difference, but she wasn’t going to concede the election.
“I don’t foresee a big change happening for Place 2, but I am not dropping out of the race,” said Taylor. “We already got the unofficial vote tally from the city, and I believe that is the way it will be.”
She also plans to run again.
The city will canvass the votes Nov. 19.