On a rainy Election Night in Killeen, Jessica Gonzalez, Debbie Nash-King, Nina Cobb and Michael Boyd secured victory to represent their districts on the Killeen City Council.
Debbie Nash-King was the top vote-getter with 572 votes.
In an upset, candidate Michael Boyd beat incumbent Steve Harris by two votes — 181 to 179 — to represent District 4. Harris was looking for his third consecutive term in District 4, and his fourth overall. Harris said he believes there were voting issues at several polling places and will file for a recount.
“I’m very surprised,” Harris said in council chambers following release of the results. “It’s disappointing, but God is still good. We will see what happens after the recount.”
Harris was the lone dissenting vote at a council meeting Tuesday to ban no-knock warrants by the Killeen Police Department. Harris said he wanted to see the people vote on the issue, and not have the council make the decision for the city.
When asked if he felt his vote on the no-knock warrant bill had an impact on the outcome, he said “obviously with two votes, I guess you could say it had an impact. But I still think even after the recount, if it comes out the same, I leave with my integrity intact.”
Candidates began gathering at council chambers at Killeen City Hall shortly after the polls closed at 7 p.m. Despite the meager turnout, election results trickled in, leaving candidates waiting in chambers until 9 p.m. to get the unofficial results.
In a crowded field, Jessica Gonzalez received 187 votes to beat out four other candidates to win term-limited Councilmember Shirley Fleming's council seat. Gonzalez, who is a general manager of sales and operations and a filmmaker, ran on a platform of partnering to develop better income and job-producing opportunities to Killeen and communicating better with residents.
"Thank you for your vote of confidence!" Gonzalez said by email Saturday night. "We have work to do...remember, together we can and together we will!"
Holly Teel came in second with 92 votes, Angela Brown finished third with 87 votes, Latriece Walton received 37 votes, and Rosalyn “Roz” Finley rounded out the field with 29 votes.
Incumbent Debbie Nash-King, 55, had a decisive victory over challenger William Baumgartner, securing 572 votes to Baumhartner’s 149. The win secures the Fort Hood counselor's third consecutive term on the council.
Nash-King was the first candidate to arrive in council chambers to watch election results come in as the polls closed at 7 p.m. She found herself with a healthy lead from early voting, and never looked back as results came in.
“To God be the glory. Without him this could not be possible,” Nash-King said by phone following the announcement of the final results. “This was the best campaign I have won since I’ve been on the council. I’m grateful for all my supporters and voters that trusted me with a third term to continue to do the work of the city.”
This is the second time Baumgartner, 42, lost against Nash-King. He said he will run again in two years.
Nina Cobb, 54, an outreach educator and COVID hub nurse, won the District 3 seat with 366 votes. She ran unsuccessfully in the fall for an at-large seat, but was finally able to come through in this race, beating out Killeen-native Ramon Alarez, who received 232 of votes. Jason Carr received 63 votes.
Following the unofficial results being delivered, she said she was elated.
“I’m ready to work and earn the trust of District 3 voters,” Cobb said.
In the upset of the night, Michael Boyd beat out incumbent Steve Harris by two votes. Boyd, 36, is a government data collector, running in his first election.
“I am happy with the victory today. I’m looking forward to getting to work,” Boyd said by phone. “It’s time to put words into action.”
When asked about the potential recount, Boyd said he was unaware his opponent would be asking for a recount and did not have any comment.
Brockley Moore, 53, received 112 votes in the District 4 race. Moore held the seat from 2015 to 2017, but was unable to secure enough votes this year.