Killeen Mayor Pro Tem Michael Lower’s loss at the polls Saturday may signal a shift in politics at City Hall, beginning with today’s election of a new mayor pro tem.

Early voting results Saturday showed Lower leading by just eight votes, but a surge of support on election day gave incumbent Terry Clark a relatively comfortable 60-vote win.

Clark has been criticized for a controversial slogan he ran in a newspaper ad, which said “Clark, not another ‘yes man’ for mayor.”

On his Facbook page Saturday, Mayor Dan Corbin called the ad “negative” and said that it may have fueled Clark’s comeback.

Defending his campaign, Clark said it was last-minute phone calls to supporters that allowed him to win.

Clark said he chose to run the not-another-yes-man ad because of negative statements Corbin had made about Clark on his Facebook page a week before the election.

“I ran a marshmallow campaign,” Clark said.

“After the Facebook post and things leading up to the election, I felt I needed to respond.”

In the coming year, the council will consider proposals such as funding a homeless shelter, a water reuse program and increasing the city’s treated water supply.

Corbin, who campaigned for Lower, said the political jabs that took place during the election would not affect the business of the council in the next year.

“We have a plate full of a whole lot of things that don’t have ideological factors,” Corbin said.

“I hope a lot of these issues we can solve with the interests of the citizens and without regard to political ideology.”

Pro tem search

At this evening’s meeting, the council will canvass the election results. The new council — including newly elected District 4 Councilman Steve Harris — also will elect a new mayor pro tem.

Lower will relinquish his seat to Harris, a 43-year-old teacher at Smith Middle School, before the election.

The mayor pro tem acts as the mayor during the absence or disability of the mayor. If the mayor steps down or is recalled, the mayor pro tem would take over the seat until the next general election.

Conversations with several council members Monday indicated no obvious candidate for mayor pro tem has emerged.

At-large Councilwoman Elizabeth Blackstone, at-large Councilman Jonathan Okray and District 2 Councilman Jose Segarra — who was re-elected Saturday — all said they would not turn down a nomination.

At-large Councilman Jared Foster did not return phone calls Monday.

District 1 Councilman Wayne Gilmore said he would likely deny a nomination to mayor pro tem.

Clark said he would deny a nomination and will endorse Blackstone for the seat.

Corbin said his position as state commander of the American Legion — which expires in August — requires him to travel across the state and has forced him to miss some council meetings.

“It needs to be somebody who knows how to run a meeting, somebody who can stand up before a crowd to speak and be able to be there when I can’t,” Corbin said.

If you go

The Killeen City Council will hold its regular meeting at 5 p.m. today at City Hall, 101 College St.

Contact Brandon Janes at or (254) 501-7552

(5) comments


It sounds like anyone running for office would be brilliant to get Mr. Corbin to run the campaign... of his/her opponent. Corbin boldly states the qualities needed for a mayor pro tem. I think the people are starting to think about the qualities needed in a mayor.

As a representative of the people, a mayor should be above the bullying good 'ole boy tactics, demonstrated by a man who blindly supports those who have clearly been a disgrace to the city in so many ways (including the financial costs).

At a minimum, though, the mayor should demonstrate the ability to "think before speaking." Corbin continually demonstrates he does not have that skill. I would expect an attorney to put a lot more thought into his/her words and the potential consequences of those words before they come out of his mouth and are put
into print. I think most teenagers put more thought into their Facebook comments than mayor Corbin does - even though he's making embarrassingly ill-informed comments about very important subjects, which also seem to demonstrate he's lost touch with the people he represents (and is unaware of the issues important to them). I agree that he could resign so he can dedicate even more time to his outside interests, since he's already stated he doesn't always have time to fulfill the responsibilities of being a mayor. And when he does have time, as shown, he seems to do more harm than good.


@overseer: Part where you state: we can do it to you but, you cannot do it to us is so true.


I have to say that, in regards to Mayor Corbin's, and others criticisms of Clarke's "Yes man" statement - you all have me confused. Didn't the Mayor call Clarke "misinfomed" and reiterate more times than one his displeasure with Clarke and his "personal" research that clashes with the "cities experts"? Didn't he tout his support for Mayor Pro-tem Lower by calling him "...My Mayor Pro-Tem"? I will not mention the other "Controversial" things Mayor Corbin said in regards to other topics as they do not directly relate to his statements about Clarke.
I have to say, if Mayor Corbin and others take any offense to Clarke's "Yes man" comments then they all either have selective amnesia, a lack of information and a hypocritical mind-set(We can do it to you but, you cannot do it to us). I am really trying to be objective and, evidence is pointing to a double-standard type mind-set by the Mayor and others in the city regarding this.
On a final and off-topic note: my personal belief - Lower would have had a better chance of winning if he, like Eliza said, was an "individual thinker". I do not know whether he would have won or lost but on thing is sure in my mind - Mayor Corbin definitely contributed to his losing this race.


Mayor needs to go ahead & resign to focus on his American Legion work which requires so much travel. Bet if someone else was missing council meetings they wouldn't be so understanding. Just make a decision on what's more important and go with it. Biting off more than you can chew doesn't serve either position well. As far as the comment on Clark's campaign being negative. Since when did responding to shots taken by political opponents by stating mere facts become negative? If telling it like it is is considered negative by Mayor then he needs to rethink meaning of the word negative.


@ “I ran a marshmallow campaign,” Clark said.

But the people didn't really expect anyone to be a marshmallow, when others may be willing to roast them . [smile]

I think the voters may have been turned off by Mr. Lower in some manner, with his non willingness to have all city council business open to the public as it had been promised.
When promises are made to the public by any rank of politician, they need to be kept.

A councilman or woman may have to make decisions pertaining to city government or employees that may not be favorable to some, and the councilman or woman can not be influenced by others, just because they sit at the same council table. But must be an individual thinker of what's best for the city and its tax payer. Friendships or good ole boy/girl attitudes can't become involved.

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