Some Liberty County school districts and cities expected to avoid May elections

Tuesday, Feb. 19, is the deadline for write-in candidates for the upcoming May 4 election, and for now it appears most local school districts will avoid the expense of an election as only incumbents have signed up.

Six of the seven school districts in Liberty County hold their elections to coincide with city elections in May while Tarkington ISD holds elections during general elections in November. Barring a last-minute write-in candidate, only two of the six remaining school districts will hold elections this May – Cleveland and Dayton.

With longtime Dayton ISD trustee Larry Wadzeck not seeking reelection to Position 2, four candidates have put their names forward. They are Juan Carranco, Barry Pruitt, Mark Richter and Chris Shumaker. The only other Dayton ISD trustee position up for reelection is Position 1. Dr. Luke Chachere, the incumbent, is the only person signed up for that seat.

At Cleveland ISD, the two seats up for reelection each have one challenger. Position 4 incumbent Ronnie Lewis faces challenger Willie Carter while Position 5 incumbent Sharica Lewis will vie for reelection against challenger Amanda Brooks.

Candidates on the ballots at the remaining school districts are:

DEVERS ISD – incumbents Michelle Carr, Tommy McIntosh and Michael Ramirez

HARDIN ISD – incumbents James “Bubba” Campbell for Position 3, Dana Holst for Position 4 and Charles Bolds for Position 5

HULL-DAISETTA ISD – incumbents Gaye Nell Harrison for Position 6 and Gerard Eaglin for Position 7

LIBERTY ISD – incumbents Debbie Beasley for Position 4 and Malcolm Goudeau for Position 7


DAYTON – The field of candidates for the city council election in Dayton has changed slighted as Janette M. Frick has withdrawn from the race for Position 4. That position is currently held by Dr. John Johnson, mayor pro tem, who is seeking reelection.

Carolyn Wadzeck is the sole candidate for mayor. She will replace Mayor Jeff Lambright, who is not seeking reelection.

For Position 4, the race will be decided between incumbent Troy E. Barton and challenger Meadow Noyer Coward.

CLEVELAND – One candidate per available seat signed up – incumbent Mayor Otis Cohn, Position 2 Councilwoman Marilyn Clay and Carolyn McWaters, the latter of whom was previously on council and is running for Position 1, a seat currently held by Mike Penry.

DAISETTA – Incumbents Raymond Sanders for Position 2 and Wendy Wells for Position 4 are seeking reelection without opposition.

DEVERS – Incumbents Anthony Jones for Position 1 and Maria Sanchez for Position 5 are seeking reelection. Vivienne Kirkland, who was appointed to Position 4 to complete the unexpired term of Mayor Steven Horelica, is seeking election. The three face no challengers for these seats.

HARDIN – Two races for Hardin City Council have challengers. Position 1 Councilman Chris Goodwin is unopposed while Position 5 incumbent councilman, Harvey Finley, is being challenged by Shonda Dryden. Mayor Stephanie Blume, who signed up for relection, faces three challengers – Phyllis Lewing, Harry Johnson and Heather W. West-Seward.

LIBERTY – The election for the three at-large positions will be decided between incumbents – Libby Simonson, Diane Huddleston and Dennis Beasley, andchallengers – Jennifer Regen, Ron Blake and Troy Beasley. Liberty also has a special election to fill the unexpired term of Paul Glazener who resigned in November to take on the role of senior pastor of Cornerstone Church. The deadline to run for Glazener’s unexpired term is March 4, 2019. So far only one candidate has filed for that position – Neal Thornton.

PLUM GROVE – Council members Diana Chunn, Barbara Martin Norris and Calvin “Sonny” Lee are running unopposed for reelection. However, voters in Plum Grove will be asked to vote in an election that will give the city an additional half-penny of sales tax revenue. If approved, the new amount of sales tax collected by the city would be $0.01 per dollar.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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