Three-way mayor race tops ballot

Crowded city election has seven candidates

Rockdale city voters will have a threeway mayor’s race to decide May 11 as a last-day candidate tossed his hat in the ring on Friday, final day to file.

Both Milano city and school races also became contested before the deadline.

MAYOR—John King signed up to run for Rockdale mayor on Friday. King is a rertiree.

He will face businessman Collier Perry and incumbent city council member Toby Johnson in a three-candidate chase to replace Mayor Larry Jones, who did not seek re-election.

With a three-way mayor’s race, the possibility of a runoff is a distinct possibility.

Rockdale’s city charter specifies a plurality but City Secretary Terry Blanchard told The Reporter she had been in touch with the Texas Secretary of State’s office and state law specifies a runoff.

“In the case of any term longer than two years, a majority of the vote will be needed to elect,” she said. “That state law trumps the city charter.”

Both Rockdale City Council races are also contested.

Newcomers Trent Wages and Nathan Bland are vying for the west ward council seat being vacated by Johnson.

In the east ward, incumbent Joyce Dalley is opposed by Robert Lawhon. Dalley was elected in 2010 and is completing her first term.

UNOPPOSED—The filing deadline passed with only the three incumbent Rockdale ISD trustees filing for the school board.

They are board president Lee Jenkins in Place 4, Michelle Lehmkuhl in Place 3 and Wenda Dyer in Place 5.

MILANO—Both Milano city and school races heated up during the final week.

Claude Lagrone and Kara Clore filed for the Milano City Council, turning that race into a five-person contest for three at-large seats.

Incumbents Carol Newman, Henry Dykes and David Gunnels Jr. had previously filed, seeking new terms.

Lynn Martin filed for one of the full Milano ISD terms on the ballot in 2013, turning that race into a four-person contest for three at-large three-year terms. Incumbents Carl Blake, Dewey Steinbecker and Lynette Taylor had previously filed.

Incumbent Shawn Walton is unopposed for a two-year unexpired term.

THORNDALE—There’s a contested mayor’s race in Thorndale where incumbent Billy Simank is opposed by former mayor Gerald Niemtschk.

Incumbent council members Don Culp and Stephanie Churchman are unopposed for new terms.

Thorndale city voters will also have a proposition on the May 11 ballot.

They’ll be asked to “re-authorize” the one-fourth percent sales tax for street maintenance which was previously approved by voters four years ago.

According to the City of Thorndale, that tax must be re-authorized every four years by city voters.

The Thorndale ISD school board race is a four-person chase for three positions with incumbents David Hall, Brian Fisher and Debra Stolte joined on the ballot by Kevin Kiesling.

HOSPITAL DISTRICT— There is no Rockdale Hospital District board of directors election this year.

Hospital directors are only on the ballot in even-numbered years.

The next hospital board election is scheduled for 2014.

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