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Amid concerns regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, the City of Conroe will discuss whether to postpone its May 2 municipal election until November.

Mayor Toby Powell announced in a Facebook post that he would be placing the issue on the agenda for the city council meeting on Thursday, March 26.

“Citizens of Conroe, I … have made the decision to heed Governor Greg Abbott’s advice to postpone the City of Conroe’s Municipal Elections scheduled for Saturday, May 2nd to instead coincide with other national and state elections in November of this year. I have instructed city staff to place this postponement as an action item on Next Thursday’s agenda for the City Council to approve.”

Powell’s announcement comes after the governor issued a proclamation authorizing local governments to move the date of their elections due to the ongoing pandemic.

“I strongly encourage local election officials to take advantage of these waivers and postpone their elections until November,” said Abbott. “Right now, the state’s focus is responding to COVID-19—including social distancing and avoiding large gatherings. By delaying this election, our local election officials can assist in that effort.”

Holding an election in May could conflict with an emergency order issued by County Judge Mark Keough that prohibits events greater than 10 persons at all publicly held facilities and would run against the social distancing being urged by the Centers for Disease Control.

Powell and two city council positions are scheduled for the May 2 municipal ballot. Conroe will also have a special election to fill the seat of Place 5 Councilman Jody Czajkoski, who is challenging Powell in the mayoral election.

“The Mayor’s office is not willing to risk the health of those who would otherwise do their civic duty and show up to the polls under the threat of a serious virus,” said Powell. “Make no mistake, this outbreak is serious, and all citizens should follow the advice recommended by our local health officials.”