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Election Day brings changes for Lockhart

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

A bumper crop of candidates to fill four seats on the Lockhart City Council was narrowed down to five as election returns poured in on Tuesday night. When the dust settled, one race promised a runoff, while the others were decided with a flourish.

Three candidates started Election Season vying for the seat left open by longtime council

member Kenny Roland’s decision not to seek re-election in District One. Those voters still have a decision to make, as the three-way race narrowed down to a plurality, but no clear-cut majority.

Dyral Thomas led polling numbers, earning 169 votes (43.46 percent). Juan Mendoza followed closely behind, with 156 votes (39.2 percent). Kerry Gaddis fell from the race on Tuesday, bringing in only 73 votes (18.34 percent).

After the votes are canvassed, the Lockhart City Council will set a runoff election between Thomas and Mendoza, according to Lockhart Mayor Ray Sanders.

“Big” John Castillo seized a place on the council with an overwhelming majority. He faced off with Vincent “Rob” Ortiz and Susana DeLaCruz Olson for the District Two seat vacated by longtime member Frank Estrada.

Castillo garnered 277 votes (62.95 percent), leaving Olson and Ortiz to split the remaining votes in the district. Olson received 80 votes (18.18 percent) and Ortiz earned 83 (18.86 percent).

The five-sided race for two At Large seats on the Lockhart City Council showed an enormous increase in voter turnout with more than 3,800 votes being cast in the race. In the last At Large election, only 825 votes were cast.

As voting came to a close, Angie Gonzales-Sanchez emerged as the victor, earning 962 votes (25.23 percent). She will take her place at the table alongside incumbent Paul Gomez, who was returned to his seat by a narrow margin, outscoring another incumbent, Richard J. “Dick” Wieland by a mere 22 votes. Gomez received 858 nods (22.5 percent) to Wieland’s 836 (21.92 percent).

Political newcomer Rick Womble earned 697 votes, bringing 18.28 percent of voter support, while Doug Shomette rounded out the field with 460 votes (12.06 percent).

The votes will be canvassed and the new councilmembers welcomed during a special called meeting of the Lockhart City Council on Nov. 15, 2010.

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