Political newcomer Walker Willey upset longterm Brownwood City Council incumbent Jerry DeHay Saturday in the contest for the Ward 5 seat, and in Early, Mayor Bob Mangrum easily defeated challenger Sean Fulton to win an eighth term.
In Bangs, Sheila Roberts defeated Gregory E. MacDonald in a contest for an unexpired city council term.
Unofficial results from the Brown County Elections Office reflected a low voter turnout.
• Brownwood — Willey received 168 votes (55.81 percent) to DeHay’s 133 votes (44.19 percent).
• Early — Mangrum received 114 votes (82.01 percent) to Fulton’s 25 votes (17.99 percent).
• Bangs — Roberts received 10 votes (62.50 percent) to MacDonald’s 6 (37.50 percent).
“I am just thankful that the people turned out to vote,” Willey said. “First and foremost, everybody should have a choice, and I am beyond grateful to the people that chose to give me a chance, bringing in someone who hasn’t been in city government in the past. I’m just super thankful for the opportunity.
“It’s always a challenge in a campaign to unseat an incumbent — especially someone that’s had a good tenure, good term. I really didn’t know what to expect. So I am surprised, but it is a good surprise.”
Willey, 39, is a lieutenant with the Office of Inspector General with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department — the law enforcement agency within the TJJD.
Willey and DeHay are friends who live in the same neighborhood, and DeHay offered his congratulations to Willey after seeing the numbers in the elections administration office.
Mangrum, who has been mayor since 2012, was previously challenged by Fulton in 2017.
“I wish to thank the citizens of Early for allowing me the privilege of to serve another term,” Mangrum said.
When asked if he had expected to win, Mangrum replied, “well I hoped. After 2016 there is no such thing as a done deal."
Also in Bangs, voters reauthorized the local sales and use tax at the rate of one-fourth of 1 percent to provide funds for street maintenance
In Blanket, voters approved a similar measure but at a rate of 1 percent to prove funds for street maintenance.