By CHRIS AGEE
Incumbents were not safe in Saturday’s city council and school elections as some challengers on both ballots were successful in unseating their opponent.
Nearly 400 voters cast ballots for city elections with almost half, or 183, taking advantage of the early voting period. Similarly, 210 of 499 school board voters took to the polls early.
According to final but unofficial results released by Elections Administrator Judith Evans, the only contested council race ended in an upset with incumbent Place 1 Councilman Rick Bennett losing re-election to sitting Ward 4 councilman Kevin Harrison.
“I wish Kevin all the best,” Bennett said Monday afternoon. “I wish all the council the best and that they will lead the city into a new year of prosperity, health and happiness.”
Calling the council a “good group of people,” Bennett said he has been happy to serve the community during his expiring term.
“I’ll pray for them and if I can be of assistance to them, I’ll be there,” he concluded.
Harrison received nearly twice as many votes as Bennett, securing a 252 to 135 victory. His vacated Ward 4 seat was filled by newcomer Karium Carter, who ran unopposed.
“It’s just an opportunity to give back to a city that has given so much to me over my lifetime,” Carter said.
The Mt. Hermon First Baptist Church pastor added he is “homegrown and raised” in Mineral Wells and looks forward to helping make a difference in the community.
“I wanted to give back in whatever way I could, not only as an individual but as the leader of a church,” he added.
Also on the ballot with no opposition was former councilman Bill Terry, who received 166 votes to replace Margaret Hill Colton as Place 2 council member.
Tammy Underwood was re-elected to represent Ward 2 without a challenger.