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Challengers force runoffs for Orange Council seats


Last updated 5/4/2019 at Noon

Dave Rogers / For The Record

Challengers Mary McKenna and Caroline Mazzola Hennigan earned more votes than the incumbents they ran against for a seat on the Orange Council.

But the results of Saturday’s city and school district elections left both McKenna and Hennigan shy of the 50 percent plus one votes they needed to avoid a June runoff election.

In the election drawing the biggest turnout in Orange County, opponents of a proposed $46.1 million bond election by the Bridge City school district won by a 2-1 majority, getting 1,604 of the 2,340 votes cast (68.5 percent.)

McKenna, the general manager of Golden Triangle Hospice in Orange who knocked incumbent District 4 representative Annette Pernell out of office in 2013 only to lose it back to Pernell in 2016, came within three votes of winning Saturday’s election outright.

McKenna totaled 140 (49.1 percent) of the 285 votes cast in the vote limited to only those residing in the district. Pernell, seeking her third term, scored 100 votes (35.1 percent) and Alan Mesecher garnered 45 votes (15.8 percent).

Hennigan, special education coordinator at Little Cypress-Mauriceville schools, drew 402 of the 1,022 votes (39.3 percent) cast in a race open to all eligible city of Orange voters.

Incumbent Bill Mello, council member since 2009, collected 293 votes (28.7 percent), followed by Charles Ray Thomas, 242 votes (23.7 percent), and David C. Bailey, 85 votes (8.3 percent).

Five candidates ran for three at-large seats on the West Orange-Cove school board, with each voter allowed three votes and the top three vote-getters being seated.

Those were incumbent Demetrius Hunter, newcomer Gina Simar and incumbent Linda Platt-Bryant.

There were a total of 1,956 votes cast with the totals 531 for Hunter, 495 for Simar, 426 for Platt-Bryant, 277 for Kianna Edwards-Brooks, and 227 for Russell Holt.

Incumbent Jerry McInnis won another three-year term on the Bridge City school board, defeating challenger Cory L. Mitchell 1,281 to 881.

In the City of West Orange, incumbent Randy Branch topped all three candidates for two at-large positions, and machinist Brent Dearing won the other spot. Vote counts were 122 for Branch, 94 for Dearing and 59 for Patty Cook.

Chris Riedel defeated Josh Fisher 296-234 for Place 6 on the LCMCISD board. In Vidor ISD, Gina VanDevender won Position 4 436-221 over Paul Davis and Position 6 was won by Rollie G. Burr 514-151 over Ernest Bayard.

Kimberly Stiebig won Vidor’s mayor election 277-100 over former mayor Ken Crawford and Jane Hill won Vidor Council Ward 6 by a vote count of 256-104 over Ken Luce.

Cathy Nagel was re-elected as mayor of Pine Forest, 43-16 over challenger Brian Elliott.


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