As Monday’s filing deadline for the November election came to a close, it appears a significant shift in the makeup of Odessa City Council is looming. For the three, possibly four, city council seats up for election this fall, eight candidates have filed to run — and none of those include incumbents.
Four city races, districts 3, 4, 5, and possibly an at-large seat, will appear on November’s ballot, in addition to two propositions to amend the city charter.
The first proposition allows voters to add an at-large seat to city council, and the second would give the mayor full voting privileges – adding two new voting members to the council. The charter amendments are a direct result of a petition filed by citizens earlier this year that included nearly 3,000 signatures.
If voters choose to amend the city charter and add an at-large seat, accountant Peggy Dean will assume the newest council position, as she was the only candidate to file for it.
District 3 has drawn two candidates: West Texas Food Bank’s Communications Director Craig Stoker and former Odessa Fire Marshal Detra White. Current District 3 Council Member Barbara Graff will not seek reelection due to term limits.
District 4 is also an open seat as Council Member Michael Gardner has decided not to run for reelection. Three candidates — Tom Sprawls, Richard Pierce, and David Malliat — are vying for the chance to take his place.
Lastly, local teacher Mari Spivey Willis and insurance adjuster Julio Gonzalez will face off for District 5, currently held by Council Member Filiberto Gonzales. According to reports, Gonzales said he would only seek reelection if no one else filed to run.
In addition to city races and propositions, residents living within Ector County Independent School District will have the chance to vote for or against a property tax increase via a tax ratification election.
The general election will take place November 6.