Early voters settle races

By Kristen Tribe | Published Wednesday, May 14, 2014
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Wise County voters made their choices known in local city council and school board elections last week – and with the exception of one entity, all had more votes cast early than on election day May 10.

When the final numbers were tallied, a cast of new players was revealed.

Election Day By the Numbers


More than 400 people voted early in the Alvord school board race while just more than 100 trekked to the polls on election day.

They elected newcomers Lance Thweatt to place 6 and Charles Matthews to place 7, by overwhelming margins. Thweatt received 396 votes to Tracy Parker’s 152. Lex Williams received three votes for the place 6 post, but he informally withdrew from the race a few weeks ago, asking his supporters to vote for Thweatt.

Matthews defeated Jeannette Ward 400 to 151.

Debra McKelvain won place 4 on Alvord City Council with 86 votes. Her opponents, Lenda Barnes and Shane Raney, received 63 and 44 votes, respectively. Incumbents Kirk Gibson (place 3) and Jim Enochs (place 5) were unopposed. Gibson got 137 votes, and Enochs, 149.


In the Bridgeport mayor’s race, Corey Lane narrowly edged Kathy Kennedy, 193-177. Lane won early voting 110-98, while Kennedy garnered one more vote than Lane on election day.

David Correll won place 1 on the city council with 243 votes, beating incumbent A.Z. Smith, who received 111 votes. The race for place 2 was close, but Calvin Coursey declared victory with 186 votes. Art Velasquez received 177. In early voting, each candidate received 103 votes.

Despite a large field of candidates, the Bridgeport school board races were decided with no runoffs needed.

Scott Hiler won place 6 with 356 votes. His opponents, incumbent Ken Kilpatrick and Donald Majka, received 126 and 109 votes, respectively. Steve Stanford won place 7 with 353 votes. Loretta Hill drew 119 votes in that race, Robert Marlett, 95 and Steven Lara, 26.


Louis Godfrey defeated Mark Lorance for the Rhome mayor’s job, 117-88. Incumbents Jo Ann Wilson and Michelle Pittman were re-elected to two at-large seats on the city council with 122 and 90 votes, respectively. In the same race, Timothy Robison received 79 votes, Shawn Holliman, 48 and Jason Miller, 38.


The incumbents declared victory in the Chico school board race, although it was close. G.A. Buckner won place 6 with 248 votes to J.D. Coffman’s 221, and Doug Bowyer won place 7 with 245 votes to Noel Ruddick’s 226.

Coffman and Ruddick both won the early vote but couldn’t hold on through election day.


Jim Lamirand defeated Ricky Stutt 190-145 for place 3 on the Decatur school board, and Pete Rivera received 14 votes in the same race.

Dr. Jeff Alling was re-elected to place 4 with 245 votes, beating Charles Ross, who received 96.


Jake Tackett easily won place 2 on the Boyd school board. He received 138 votes, while opponent Cathy Gordon received 23 and Mikeul Fite, 15. Unopposed candidates Rebecca Parr (place 1) and Jana Tate (place 3) were re-elected, receiving 154 and 158 votes, respectively.


Cary Mellema’s 34 votes was enough to secure place 1 on the Newark City Council. His opponent, Monique Murray, received 20 votes.

Incumbents Linda Anderson (place 2) and Doug Anderson (place 3) were unopposed and got 42 and 47 votes, respectively.


In the Northwest school board races, incumbent Devonna Holland was re-elected to place 5 with 1,064 votes, edging Jerry Burkett who polled 1,046.

Lillian Rauch defeated five opponents for place 6 with 750 votes. Kristi Wade received 711, Andrew Bennett, 257, Stan Durham, 265, Aaron Fraser, 122 and Edward Mergenthal, 47.

Mel Fuller defeated Doug Smith 1,201-853 to secure re-election to Northwest’s place 7.

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