Nearly six months after Harker Heights voters were scheduled to go to the polls for the city’s municipal election, they will get their chance when early voting starts Tuesday across the area.
At stake in the Harker Heights election are the mayor’s post and the Place 4 seat on the city council, which is being vacated by Councilman John Reider, who has served two consecutive three-year terms — the maximum under the city charter.
Among those seeking the council seat is Terry Delano, 60, a local businessman who owns a management company, and a longtime Killeen Independent School District board member.
Delano filed for a spot on the ballot with less than two hours remaining in the filing period back in February in anticipation of a May 2 election.
The election was subsequently delayed until Nov. 3 because of the concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
The other two candidates for the Place 4 seat are Jeffrey K. Harris, 63, and Lynda A. Nash, 53. Both are retired military, and both have sought a seat on council previously.
Harris ran last year for the Place 1 seat, and Nash ran in 2010 for the Place 3 seat.
In the mayor’s race, incumbent Spencer Smith is seeking a second term in the post. He will face off against challenger Vitalis Dubininkas.
Smith, 69, a financial advisor, is a retired Marine officer and former naval aviator.
Dubininkas, 27, is an adjunct professor of biology at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Both seats carry terms that conclude in May 2023.
Earlier this year, the candidates summarized their qualifications in interviews with the Herald.
Smith said, “My record shows that I will be competent as mayor. I’ve spent 18 years in service to the community and I would be honored to be able to represent the City of Harker Heights and be a part of the progress we’ve seen,”
Dubininkas commented, “The city is growing and it’s important to look at modern tools and technology as a way to plan, maintain and adapt to the rate of the increase in population.”
Delano said, “I spent 10 years onthe school board and dealt with large budgets and tough decisions. ... I have experience running a business and also building and development. ... We’ve got a great city with a lot of opportunity and I’d like to see this be a high-quality place to raise a family.”
Harris noted that he brings to the table experience of 22 years in the military as retired active duty and also retired from the Department of Homeland Security.
“I’m a critical thinker and think-out-of-the-box individual,” he said.
Nash, who retired as a sergeant first class after 20 years in the Army, said, “What would make me a great candidate is that I have a heart for this great city and I plan to ensure that the needs of our residents are always put first above everything else.”