No competition for City Council races… yet

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With just four days left to pick up and file an application to be on the ballot for Place 1 or Place 2 this May, only two candidates have emerged thus far. Gary Cochrane will be on the ballot for Place 1, and Kim Clarkson will be there on Place 2. So far, no other candidates have filed for this election, and the deadline is this Friday, February 15.

The two incumbents that currently occupy these seats are Vincent Voelkel and George Baroody, in Place 1 and Place 2, respectively. Voelkel defeated Stephen Fine in 2017, and Baroody ran unopposed for his seat that year. So far, Voelkel has picked up a packet but has not publicly disclosed his intention to run or not run, nor has he turned in his application. Baroody, for his part, has not yet picked up the packet nor has he disclosed publicly whether or not he’ll seek reelection.

Each of the five places on the Kerrville City Council is elected at-large, meaning you don’t have to reside in a specific district or geographic zone to run for a seat, and all eligible city voters get to cast a ballot for all seats up for grabs — no matter where you live in the city limits. In Kerrville, we elect Place 1 and Place 2 in odd years, every two years. The Mayor, Place 3, and Place 4 are also up every two years, but on even years.

Historically, most races are contested. Here’s a list of the number of candidates on the ballot for the last few years.

YearPlaceNo. of Candidates
2018Mayor2
2018Place 32
2018Place 41
2017Place 12
2017Place 21
2016Mayor2
2016Place 33
2016Place 44*
2015Place 13
2015Place 22
2014Mayor2
2014Place 32
2014Place 42

*- In the table above, for 2016 Place 4, four candidates appeared on the ballot, although one candidate (Gene Smith) dropped out of the race before the election.

In recent years, it is not unusual for a candidate to file for a place on the ballot during the last week (or even last day) before the deadline. These last-minute candidates typically pay the $100 fee in leiu of filing a petition of registered voters. After the deadline, a candidate can still file to be a “write-in” up until February 19. The last day for a candidate to withdraw from the election is February 22.

This year’s election will be held on May 4, with early voting running from April 22 to April 30. You MUST register to vote by April 4.