HARKER HEIGHTS — Voters elected Hal Schiffman to Place 1 on the City Council Saturday, as he beat challengers Stu McLennan and Donald Erik Sandlin by a 42 percent margin, according to an unofficial announcement by Patty Brunson, assistant city manager.

Seven-hundred and sixteen residents voted during the election period, while Election Day drew 236 voters, Brunson said. Schiffman garnered 484 total votes, McLennan earned 183 and Sandlin tallied 40.

Running unopposed, Place 3 Councilman Pat Christ locked up his fourth term in office, earning 599 votes. Pending verification at Tuesday’s council meeting, Schiffman and Christ will be officially sworn in that day, and John Reider will vacate his Place 1 seat.

Schiffman said he felt gratified with the outcome of his first council race, and that he’d bring a fiscally conservative mindset to city governance.

“I realized with great emphasis the very, very meaningful friends and relationships that I’ve acquired over 20 years in this community,” Schiffman said. “The perspective that I intend to bring to the council … (is a) business analysis of issues that affect citizens in the city, and to balance those interests.”

After a race during which McLennan and Schiffman challenged each other’s experience and how well it could translate to serving on the council, the two smiled and shook hands Saturday, and McLennan congratulated Schiffman.

“Hal is a good man, he’s a fellow Rotarian,” McLennan said. “He’ll do a great job, and I’ll do anything I can to support him. So I think the City of Harker Heights is well-served.”

McLennan, who was running for his first time as well, said he planned on running again. “I’ve learned to trust God’s timing,” McLennan said. “I’m going to reflect on some of the process … see some of the things I could’ve done differently and go from there.”

Schiffman praised McLennan’s dedication to Harker Heights as well.

“Stu’s a smart guy,” Schiffman said. “I know that he will continue to have a great contribution to the city of Harker Heights.”

Schiffman said he was relieved the campaign was finished, but also that he enjoyed meeting with people who shared his vision for Harker Heights.

“I was able to knock on hundreds and hundreds of doors and visit with many, many people who have a desire to see Harker Heights grow, prosper and be successful,” Schiffman said. “It is very gratifying to receive expressions of their confidence and their support, and especially when I can … give value to their support in a successful effort.”

Schiffman’s and Christ’s terms will expire in 2016.

Contact Brian Bradley at bbradley@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7567

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