By AMANDA KIMBLE
ERATH COUNTY (January 17, 2017) – Prior to the final confirmation of the last election – the inauguration of President Donald Trump on Friday – local officials have their eyes on the next election.
According to Erath County Clerk Gwinda Jones, the May 6 election includes seats of city officials and those within school districts that hold joint elections with those cities. Jones said filing for a place on the May 6 ballot, which will include seats on the Stephenville City Council, Stephenville ISD board of trustees, Dublin City Council and Dublin school board begins Wednesday.
Online applications for a place can be found on the Texas Secretary of State website or by following the instructions for each of the entities listed below.
The process will continue through Friday, February 17.
Stephenville City Council
The Stephenville City Council includes nine representatives – a mayor and eight council members. Each year, four seats come up for re-election. This year, seats currently held by Mark McClinton, Place 1; Doug Svien, Place 3; Rhett Harrison, Place 5; and Sherry Zachery, Place 7 will be on the ballot, according to City Secretary Cindy Stafford.
Council members serve a two-year term, with McClinton and Harrison each closing out their first term. McClinton has confirmed plans to run for a shot at his second term, and Harrison said he is “leaning toward another term.” Each of the men faced challenges in their first bids at office – McClinton ran against Justin Allison and Harrison faced Andrew Hansen.
Zachery, who is now considering her second full term, and Svien, who was first elected to city council in 2011, ran uncontested in 2015. Calls to determine if they plan to seek another term were not returned as of press time.
Stafford said potential candidates can download an application for a place on the ballot from the Texas Secretary of State website, where additional information about the election is listed.
Application packets are also available at City Hall. Call Stafford at 254-918-1212 for more information.
The board of trustees at Stephenville ISD is made of seven elected officials and two of them are up for re-election to their three-year terms, according to Superintendent Matt Underwood.
Cole Parks, Place 6, is currently winding down his first three-year term and said plans to run for his second.
Ed Dittfurth, Place 7, is closing off his second year of school board service after winning the election to fill the unexpired term of Doug McLemore.
Application packets are available at the district administration building, and Norma Cervetto, SISD election filing authority, said it is best for potential candidates to pick up at packet from the district administration building. Cervetto said the packet include a list of forms for candidates to review.
Packets will be available 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and must be completed and returned no later than 5 p.m. on February 17.
Dublin City Council
Despite the city’s small size, Dublin operates on a ward system, with two council members representing each of the four wards. The city government is overseen by the eight council members and a mayor.
Five of the eight seats will be up for re-election in May, according to City Secretary Rhonda Williams. She said the seats currently held by Mayor David Leatherwood; John Johnson, Ward 1; Bobby Mendez, Ward 2; Sarah McCann, Ward 3; Melvin ‘Mac’ McMullen, Ward 4 are up for re-election.
All of the officials except McCann ran unopposed in 2015 election. She was appointed in April of last year to fill the unexpired term of David Zinck.
Williams said prospective candidates should obtain an application pack from City Hall, which remains at the temporary facility at 420 North Camden. Packets will be available from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
She also said applicants must have all required documents finalized, submitted and approved by 5 p.m. on the final day of filing to qualify for a place on the ballot.
Two seats on the Dublin ISD board of trustees are up for re-lection according to DISD candidate filing clerk Glenna Ricks.
She said the seat currently held by Bill Rodriguez, who was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Mike Jury in June 2016, and the seat of board member Kent Crouch will be up for re-election.
Application packets and be picked up and return to Ricks at the Dublin ISD administration office, located at 420 North Post Oak.