Decision day Saturday for city

Three-person mayoral race greets city voters

City of Rockdale voters will go to the polls Saturday to choose a new mayor.

Or maybe, take the next step toward choosing a successor to Mayor Larry Jones.

That’s because one of the three candidates seeking the mayor’s post must get a majority of the votes cast Saturday (plus the 315 who voted early) or the top two candidates will go to a runoff to determine who will fill the city’s top elected post for the next three years.

Rockdale voters will also elect two city council members and there are contested city and school races in Milano and Thorndale.

MAYOR—Candidates for Rockdale mayor are:

• Collier Perry, local businessman, runner-up in the three-person mayoral race of 2010 and a former Rockdale city council member in the 1970s.

• Toby Johnson, current west ward city council member, who passed up a chance for re-election to that seat to seek the mayor’s post.

• John King, retired local businessman, former city code enforcement officer, who is making his first bid for public elected office.

Even though Rockdale’s city charter says only a plurality is needed for election, City Secretary Terry Blanchard said Texas election law specifies that anyone elected to a term longer than two years must poll a majority of the votes cast.

“The state law trumps the city charter,” she said.

It’s happened before in Rockdale. Former Mayor Bill Avrett won re-election in a 1995 runoff after finishing second in the first balloting.

COUNCIL—A pair of newcomers are seeking the west ward city council position being vacated by Johnson.

Nathan Bland and Trent Wages are both first-time candidates.

East ward incumbent Joyce Dalley, who is completing her first term, is challenged by first-time candidate Robert Lawhon.

There’s no school board election. Incumbents Lee Jenkins, Michelle Lehmkuhl and Wenda Dyer were unopposed.

No Rockdale Hospital District election was scheduled during 2013.

MILANO—Five persons are vying for three city council seats in Milano, incumbents Carol Newman, Henry Dykes and David Gunnels Jr., along with Claude Lagrone and Kara Zawadzke Clore.

It’s a four-person race for three three-year terms on the school board, incumbents Carl Blake, Dewey Steinbecker and Lynette Taylor and newcomer Lynn Martin. Incumbent Shawn Walton is unopposed for a two-year unexpired term.

THORNDALE—Thorndale also has a mayoral race. Incumbent Billy Simank is opposed by former mayor Gerald Niemtschk.

Incumbent council members Don Culp and Stephanie Churchman are unopposed.

There’s a four-person chase for three at-large seats on the Thorndale ISD school board with incumbents David Hall, Brian Fisher and Debra Stolte opposed by Kevin Kiesling.


ROCKDALE—City Hall, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., everyone in city limits votes for mayor, look on your yellow voter registration card for council ward.

If you don’t have the card, the city staff will help you determine the ward and another form of ID, such as a driver’s license, is needed to vote.

MILANO—Administration offices, Milano Elementary, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

THORNDALE—Thorndale Senior Citizens Center, 600 North Second, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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2013-05-09 digital edition

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