League City residents came out on Saturday for a special election to fill the unexpired term of former council member John Bowen.
Residents were pretty decisive in their top choice of Courtney Chadwell, a firefighter and machine operations manager.
Chadwell won with 42 percent of the vote, with his nearest challenger Ange Mertens at 18.4 percent. Third-place challenger Katherine Swanson was right behind Mertens with 18.3 percent. However, since no candidate garnered more than 50 percent of the vote, the election will go into a runoff.
Chadwell’s campaign centered on funding government at the no new revenue rate, setting building and impact fees at the market rate, not subsidizing businesses in the name of economic development, and not issuing new debt but rather forcing the city to operate within its $300 million budget.
Mertens is a flight attendant and philanthropist who is also a League City Parks Board member. In an interview, she said her focus would be on flood mitigation and traffic. She argued that her work for local charities has garnered millions for the various needs of League City residents and her 21 years of involvement makes her the best candidate.
There has not yet been a date set by the county ballot board to confirm the results, but if they do and the results hold after provisional, military, and late ballots are counted, Chadwell and Mertens will head into a February 17 runoff.
The winner will serve out Bowen’s remaining term. He announced his resignation in October and stepped down in November because he opposed the state law requiring detailed financial disclosures for spouses and dependent children of elected officials in cities of over 100,000 in population.
Bowen felt the law was a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights and although he didn’t mind disclosing his own finances, he said he felt it was inappropriate for him to have to disclose that information for his wife’s income.