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One upset, two defeats in local elections

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By Tony Farkas

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While most incumbents retained their seats, Mayor Pat Eversole of Coldspring has been unseated by challenger and Mayor Pro Tem John Benestante.

The two statewide propositions passed overwhelmingly, but only one of three bond issues for the Willis school district garnered approval.

Proposition 1, which will benefit individuals with an over-65 or disabled exemption on their property, passed 86.92 percent to 13.08, or 1,069,963 to 161,032.

The amendment will become effective Jan. 1, 2023.

Proposition 2 increases the homestead exemption by $15,000, and passed 84.84 percent 15.16 percent, or 1,058,511 to 189,087.

It is now effective, so homeowners will see the savings when they receive their property tax bill this fall.

  • In the Cleveland ISD election, incumbent Willie Carter won against LaDerrington Baldwin by a margin of 12 votes, or 43-31, for the Cleveland ISD Board of Trustees Position 4.

For Position 5, incumbent Amanda Sandoval Brooks won by more 2 to 1 votes to challenger Sharica Lewis, 56-23.

  • Willis ISD, which includes parts of San Jacinto County, had three bond issues on the ballot totaling $225 million on the ballot, all of which were defeated more than 3 to 1 within the districts in the county.

District-wide results were slightly different, as the measure for $143,045,000 in bonds for school improvements did pass. However, the  $62,565,000 in bonds for improvements to the athletic stadium, and $19,390,000 for a natatorium were defeated.

  • In Coldspring, Benestante defeated Eversole 64-26, or 71.11 percent to 28.89 percent.

Dianne Griffith ran unopposed for District 2 and Nichole Gatewood ran unopposed for District 4.

in the Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD races, incumbent Tony L. Sewell outlasted Roosevelt Joseph for Position 3 743-287. Incumbent Berlin Bradford ran unopposed.

  • A runoff election for state offices will be held May 24.

The races on that ballot include state offices only.

For those in the Democratic party, the ballot contains four races: Michelle Beckley and Mike Collier for lieutenant governor; Rochelle Mercedes Garza and Joe Jaworski for Attorney General; Angel Luis Vega and Janet T. Dudding for Comptroller of Public Accounts; and Sandragrace Martinez and Jay Kleberg for Commissioner of the General Land Office.

For Republicans, those races include: George P. Bush and Ken Paxton for Attorney General; Tim Westley and Dawn Buckingham for Commissioner of the General Land Office; and Sarah Stogner and Wayne Christian for Railroad Commissioner.

Early voting runs from May 16-20, and ballots can be cast from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Elections Administration Building in Coldspring.

On May 24, polls will be located at the Elections Administration Building, Shepherd Community Center, Evergreen Community Center in Coldspring, and County Precinct 4 Annex in Point Blank.

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