Two incumbents were re-elected to Killeen City Council district seats Saturday, according to unofficial polling numbers with all precincts turned in.

With a crowd of supporters in tow, Jim Kilpatrick was one of two incumbents, alongside Shirley Fleming, to retake their seats. The final unofficial results were announced at approximately 8:50 p.m.

Kilpatrick won the District 3 seat with 354 votes. His closest competitor was Patsy Bracey, with 304.

Debbie Nash-King took the District 2 seat in a landslide over competitor Larry Smith with 660 votes, or 68 percent of voters in the district.

Former Killeen City Councilman Steve Harris narrowly beat out incumbent Councilman Brockley Moore with 170 votes — just 17 more than Moore’s total.

According to the Texas Secretary of State’s office, all four district races are eligible for a recount by petition.

Because the council terms are two-year terms, there are no runoff elections.

Kilpatrick and his supporters gathered at City Hall while some of the candidates and others spectators came and went throughout the night, including Mayor Jose Segarra and former Mayor Raul Villaronga, representatives from the Killeen Professional Fire Fighters’ Association, and Josh Welch, a development manager with Bruce Whitis’ WB Development.

During the course of the campaign, Kilpatrick was criticized for voting against a $394,000 management audit of the city’s finances alongside Councilman Juan Rivera. The audit, approved March 14, was driven by resident demand and supported by the other five members of council.

On Tuesday, preliminary results from the audit presented to the City Council showed past mismanagement of funds by city officials, including the commingling and misuse of bond funds and the establishment of escrow accounts for the transfer of money between funds.

The accounting firm conducting the audit, Houston-based McConnell & Jones, has yet to identify individuals and occurrence dates for the early results.

Police, fire support

It was a hit-and-miss night for the Killeen firefighters’ group and the Killeen Police Employees Association who actively campaigned for Wells, Nash-King, Kilpatrick and Moore.

In District 1, Wells went up against incumbent Fleming.

Wells served on the council before he was swept up in the 2011 special election recall spearheaded by Councilman Jonathan Okray that stripped Wells of his post. Wells is the owner of Wells Laundry in Killeen.

Wells outspent the rest of the council candidates by a wide margin despite being completely self funded. According to campaign finance disclosure forms submitted by his campaign, Wells spent more than $15,000 on expenditures, primarily for advertising.

The other District 1 candidates, Teel, a dog trainer, reported no campaign contributions or expenditures on two campaign finance disclosure forms.

Teel ran as an outside candidate campaigning on a wide-ranging audit of the city’s finances — often advocating for Federal Bureau of Investigation involvement — and pushing for the city to address human trafficking in the city.

Fleming reported contributions from the Bell County Democratic Women PAC and Killeen planning and zoning commissioner Tyrone McLaurin.

In District 2, Nash-King faced Smith, a firebrand who repeatedly bashed former Killeen Mayor Dan Corbin and Whitis after a March 19 Herald article connected campaign funding from Whitis to Rivera and Kilpatrick.

The race between Smith and Nash-King was a contentious one, with accusations of unethical behavior thrown in both directions.

On April 17, Smith filed a formal complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission alleging Nash-King had violated multiple ethics guidelines in financing her campaign. Among those allegations were claims that Nash-King did not accurately file a returned $500 contribution from Corbin, accepted money from a local union — the Killeen Professional Fire Fighters’ Association — and accepted Corbin’s contribution through her late husband, retired Command Sgt. Maj. Elijah King, who was not an agent of the campaign.

The commission threw out the complaint Monday due to technical errors in the complaint. Smith said he would refile the document with the same allegations.

In District 3, Kilpatrick faced a crowd of candidates including retired registered nurse Bracey, past mayoral candidate Harold Butchart and write-in candidate and motivational speaker Vantonio Fraley.

Kilpatrick outpaced his opponents in campaign contributions, with monetary donations from former Killeen City Councilman Otis Evans and Corbin on the books and in-kind contributions of shirts and yard signs from the firefighters’ group.

Evans was appointed by Kilpatrick as a member of an ad hoc water/sewer/drainge committee advising the council and is also on the board of directors for the Whitis-developed Municipal Utility District No. 2 south of Killeen. The approval of the coming 3,750-home residential development was overseen by Corbin and City Manager Glenn Morrison while Kilpatrick served on the city’s planning and zoning commission.

Whitis also individually contributed to Kilpatrick’s first term campaign in 2015.

Bracey and Butchart reported no political contributions at either of the disclosure deadlines, although Butchart contributed $2,000 to Smith’s campaign in District 2.

Fraley reported $1,200 in contributions at the first deadline, all of $50 or less.

In District 4, Harris ran against Moore, local businessman Ralph Cossey Jr. and corrections officer Stanley Abrahams.

Moore raised eyebrows in his April 28 campaign disclosure forms with more $10,000 in contributions of $50 or less and $2,300 spent on books for school children and an additional $4,500 for scholarships listed as campaign expenditures.

Harris previously served from 2013 to 2015 and was an outspoken opponent of the Whitis development alongside Okray.

Harris and Abrahams both reported no monetary contributions during their campaigns, while Cossey reported a $500 contribution from Corbin after the second deadline.

Cossey is a member of the city’s Arts Commission. which is responsible for the development of tourism and the convention and hotel industry through the use of cultural arts grants, according to the city’s website.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

(6) comments

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.
@Cherbear: I don't think that it was necessarily 'a hidden agenda', it was a deliberate act. As I have stated, we vote by mail and the ballot we received was a 3rd district with the names of the candidates on it and there was nothing else. We should have had the KSID personnel, but nothing was on it.
Are they trying to tell us something????
One of the few who voted.

Cherbear

I voted in district 4. Beforehand I read up on who was running in my area and what they stood for. I saw I wouldn't be voting at Palo Alto this time. I figured wrongly I would be voting at Shoemaker. I drove through the circular maze of Shoemaker's parking lot and made my way inside. I then found out I needed to go to Fowler. They gave me directions. Out towards the airport. WHAT? should of brought my GPS. Got lost. I finally voted. Came home with a headache. I have lived in a lot of cities in different states. I never have had to go through the mess to go vote like here in Killeen. What if I was a voter without a car? I wouldn't of been able to vote. Have to wonder about a hidden agenda in the way the polling places keep changing.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.
@TexaSoldier: 'That's one my many concerns about this town and it's political culture, nobody wants to 'take the bull by the horns and start getting this town organized'. One of my major concerns is the low turn-out by the voting public and the fact that they have it set up in a 4 different zone where it only takes a small number to really effectuate a change. That's why I am for the set up of where the casting of political candidates in the 4 district venue can appreciably affect the outcome of a candidate whereas if it were on a more substantial basis, the casting of a city wide out come of a 7 candidates, then it would be less of a margin that could effect the out come of an election. Run all 7 candidates on a city wide basis, not the measly 4 different districts that is ran now. Who knows, it might even have the set up for instigating more of a turn out that we are witnessing now.
And as to how this has such an appeal, with the base of this city being that of a military town, where the bulk of it citizenry says, 'we will not be here for too long', and the bulk of the remainder are retired and buy into this concept, and the fact that that 'there is what I consider to be too much vacant housing on the market', so there is not much we more we can say. You can talk until you are blue in the face and that's where it ends.
I will say, that the council had better get themselves organized to 'take control of this city structure back'. It's all up to this city council now, and this town's management structure, what ever that may be. I've been asking that question now for a little less than 2 years and I have not received any answer except, 'that's a pretty complicated question' and that's out of my district 3 councilman, Kilpatrick, that was just voted in by the voters.
But it doesn't appear to have any effect that a measly 3 to 5 percent of the voting public seems to care, and that sets up the citizenry to instill a take over of this town.
One of the few voters that voted.

TexaSoldier

@Alvin. I agree with your assessment and it's a very sad state of affairs for the Killeen area. Killeen deserves whatever they get from the city council now. A spotlight has been shown and lot of attention has been given and written about the situation in Killeen for this election. Obviously, there are only about 1% that care to make it better. I'm guessin' about 5% voted, which is about normal in off year elections (3000 voted out of ~59k registered voters) However, the fact that so many people voted for the status quo (Kilpatrick) or people that support the status quo and special interest (Nash-King & Kenny Wells), bring the 5% down to a very low number of people who voted to change the direction the city has been on for about a decade. The only positive change I noticed from the election results was that Steve Harris got elected in Dist 4 race with a very low voter turnout.

Will there be any meaningful follow-up to the audit? unlikely. Will there be any challenges to the municipal utility district? again, unlikely now. Will there be any challenges to the outcome of the Stillhouse water plant and what it provides to Killeen? nope. Congrats Killeen residents, you voted yourself a lot of special interests "improvements" on taxpayer dollars and everything else likely swept under the rug that gets bigger and dirtier by the year

School board? Mr Walton will probably be a nice, sober step forward. He's the only that I talked to that even seemed to care about the impact of the grandiose visions of educrats upon the taxpayers. Everyone else just seemed to want to build more didactical taj-mahals that they can take credit for the rest of their lives. Marvin Rainwater was one of the worst. He snarkly referred to parental & taxpayer choice as "segregation." Rainwater has been in the education confirmation-bias bubble WAY too long. However, again, this is obviously what the majority of the people that voted want - wow.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.
This is a correct saying for what has just happened in Killeen, but I would want you to consider the consequences; of by voting into office the man who 'went throughout the night by personage such as mayor Jose Segarra, former mayor Raul Villaronga, representatives of the Killeen Professional Fire Fighter's Association, and Josh Welch, a development manager with Bruce Whitis' WB Development. All of these personnel have shown ties with the Whitis corporation. The name not mentioned was that of former mayor Corbin who was the mayor when the move was made to 'support the Whitis Development corporation in the procurement of the $30 million plus water project that has the Still house Hollow lake and the water treatment plant, and associated elevated water tank and all of the fresh water and waste water, plus associated infrastructure that is required, plus fire, safety services including hospital, police, and fire that is now facing the citizens of Killeen, and we have the privilege of paying for it'.
Now comes the fact that these personnel 'did not want the audit to even come to the surface'.
And now we are facing 'another 2 years of this representation'.
Well it fits:
Copy: 'The ole' saying that people generally get the government they deserve is alive and well in Killeen.' End of copy.
People, I want you to take heed of 'just what the city council and mayor are planning to do'.
It sure seems to me that with the structure of 4 districts, district No. 1: 675. district No. 2: 964, district No. 3: 963, and district No. 4: 406, for a total vote count of 3,008. That is out of a city that has a population of somewhere over 140,000, this is sure a dismal showing. In the city KSID race, there is somewhat of a disparity in that for the 2 contested races, place No. 4 had a total vote count of 3,471 and in place No. 5 the total vote count was 3,417 and that includes the fact that we did not even have the opportunity to vote for either candidate, for out ballot, mail in, only included the single district No. 3 candidates and that is all. There sure seems to be a disparity between ,3008 for the district council seats, the place No. 4 of 3,471, and the place No. 5 0f 3,417 and like I say, we were not even afforded the opportunity to vote for either candidate. Something is strange in these goings on.
Just saying.
One of the few, total vote of 3,008, including mail in's, for all 4 candidates, who exercised the right to vote in this democratic election.
One of the few who voted.

TexaSoldier

The ole' saying that people generally get the government they deserve is alive and well in Killeen.

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