Early voting starts today and multiple seats are up for grab across Central Texas in the upcoming May 5 municipal election.

For starters, area cities have several contested council seats in the election.

In Killeen, five people are running for mayor and 12 are running for City Council. Incumbent Mayor Jose Segarra, 53, a realtor, is running against local businessman Hal Butchart, 70; Arturo Cortez, 65, a retired general contractor and writer; Jimmy Parker, 48, a local automotive technician; and Holly Teel, 47, a dog trainer.

Candidates for the open council seats include incumbents Gregory Johnson, a businessman in his first term on the council, and Juan Rivera, a businessman in his fourth nonconsecutive term on the council.

The only seat that will see a guaranteed new face is the post held by Jonathan Okray, who is terming out of the council after six years.

The other candidates are:

  • Patsy Bracey, 72, a registered nurse.
  • Mellisa Brown, 36, a caretaker and student.
  • Bruce Bynum, 50, a family consultant and substitute teacher.
  • Den’Mica Eugene, 42, a salon manager.
  • Leo Gukeisen, 52, a security company manager.
  • Tolly James Jr., 49, an HVAC contractor.
  • Hugh “Butch” Menking, 57, a financial adviser and former Killeen school board member.
  • Brockley Moore, 50, a former councilman.
  • Placidio J. Rivera, 53, a retired businessman.
  • Kenny Wells, 65, a business owner and a former councilman.

Harker Heights has two candidates running for an open council seat. Michael Blomquist and Jeff Orlanda are competing for the spot.

There is one contested seat up for grabs in Lampasas, and two political newcomers are vying for the position. Catherine Kuehne and T.J. Wright are running for the Lampasas City Council, Place 4 seat.

There are two seats available on the Belton City Council in the May 5 election, and three candidates are competing for the positions. Incumbent, Guy O’Banion, is facing off against Wayne Carpenter and Art Resa.

Other items to be voted on in the May 5 election include:

  • Whether to spend $426 million in taxpayer dollars — that’s what the Killeen Independent School District is seeking in order to build schools, renovate schools and some nonspecified construction.
  • Choosing a board member for the reclusive water district in its first election in 24 years — the board has levied debt that residents pay on their water bills.
  • Deciding whether the Killeen City Council will lose oversight of money being shifted from one city department to another — that is one of two proposed amendments to the city charter.
  • Deciding who will fill one of the KISD board seats overseeing education, special education programs, staffing and spending, among other things.
  • Deciding whether to spend $49.4 million for a school bond in Salado.

Larry Mitchell Realtor, ABR, CRS, GRI VLB

Century 21 Randall Morris & Associates

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