Local voters have one more chance to weigh in on who should steer the city from the mayor’s chair: incumbent Ronnie Spradlin and challenger Victor Boyd are on the ballot from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today at Kilgore City Hall.
There were a total of 407 ballots cast during seven days of early voting and, after adding today’s 12-hour polling results, city officials expect they’ll know the winner within a half-hour of the close of Election Day voting this evening.
All polling is being conducted in the council chambers at 815 N. Kilgore St., and Kilgore City Clerk Deborah Dane will announce the tally as soon as possible Saturday evening.
“I’ll know something pretty early on,” she said, especially with only one other election in Gregg County vying for officials’ attention today – only Kilgore and White have contested races in the Spring 2017 election cycle. “The polls close at 7 p.m. We run the tape, we know at 7:01 p.m. what the Election Day total is and then we have to wait for Gregg County to send us the early voting tabulation. Then we add the two together and get our totals.”
Of the 407 ballots cast in early voting (April 24-28 then May 1-2), the final day saw the highest traffic with 78 residents choosing between Spradlin and Boyd. The slowest turnout trickled in Thursday, April 27, with 38 decisions made.
Dane’s reluctant to predict where the final count will end up. It’s been a relatively slow election, she allowed, especially considering there’s only one race on the ballot – incumbents at Kilgore College and Kilgore ISD drew no challengers, nor did Kilgore Mayor Pro Tem Harvey McClendon.
“It might be, maybe 550,” she said, up to an optimistic 600-plus. “There’s just no way of knowing.”
In 2013, when Spradlin faced two challengers for the office, the vote tally hit 637 votes. In the next mayoral cycle in 2015, when Spradlin fielded a challenge from former city council member Randy Renshaw, voters cast 826 ballots – that included 628 in early voting.
Spradlin first joined the council in 2006 (when he was appointed to finish an unexpired term) and moved up to the mayor’s post in 2010 (to complete former mayor Joe Parker’s ongoing term following his resignation after moving outside the city limits). Spradlin, owner and operator of East Texas Lumber, is seeking his fourth full-term in the central seat on the council dais.
Boyd joined the council in May 2016, a write-in candidate unopposed in his bid for outgoing council member Lori Weatherford’s Place 4 seat. Taking his oath office later that month, Boyd became the first black member of the council. A dispatcher for Martin Transport, Boyd aims to close his first year on the council with a move to the center seat.
Questions about Saturday’s polling should be directed to Dane at 903-984-5081.