By Kathi Bliss
After months of twists, turns and wrangling, the Lockhart ISD Board of Trustees will welcome a new member later this month. An important and contentious election wrapped up on Saturday night with Rick Womble emerging as the clear winner.
Interest ran high in this election, which puts to rest the question of who will fill the seat on the board vacated when Chip Pittman resigned in July. The Board, after months of trying, was unable to come to an agreement to appoint someone to fill the position, and finally decided in February to put the decision to the voters, and allow the community to decide who should represent them in the vacant at-large position.
A total of 1,683 voters turned out to cast votes in this special-called election.
Womble rose above the field of four candidates with a total of 984 votes (58.5 percent). Though his swearing in is not on the agenda for the LISD Board meeting scheduled on Monday evening, it is likely that a special called meeting will be held before the end of May to canvass the votes and affirm his position on the board.
Womble, the only candidate on the ballot to submit a Letter of Intent when the District attempted to make an appointment to the position, is a member of several local boards and commissions, and is a vice-president at First Lockhart National Bank. His two sons both attend school in the Lockhart Independent School District.
Falling short of victory in the election was Raymond Rene Rayos, who earned 413 votes (24.5 percent of total votes).
Jessica Neyman picked up 269 votes, or 16 percent of the total voter support.
The fourth candidate, Robert Coster, abandoned his campaign early, throwing his support behind Neyman. He earned 17 votes (1 percent).
Much of the business of the Lockhart Independent School District has ground to a standstill over the last months, as a definitive 3-3 split has plagued many votes. Womble’s election promises to break the stalemate, and eliminate the tie votes that have been slowing progress for the trustees.
For a full breakdown of precinct-by-precinct voter turnout, see this week’s Post-Register.