Many area residents will have decisions to make on the local level when they head to the polls in November to pick the country’s next president.
Five McLennan County school districts and three cities will have contested races on the ballot, plus three local referendums.
Filing ended for McLennan County candidates interested in running in local elections at the beginning of the week. Several school district incumbents face challengers, but many city council members up for election are running unopposed.
Early voting is eight weeks away for the Nov. 8 election.
The last day to register to vote is Oct. 11. Early voting runs Oct. 24 through Nov. 4.
Robinson City Council
The city of Robinson won’t have a council election, but will see a change in leadership. Doye Baker, who recently threatened to sue the city and pushed to fire the city attorney, opted to not run for re-election.
Mayor Bert Echterling, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Mastergeorge and council member Jeremy Stivener each filed for one of the four at-large, two-year council seats.
Taking Baker’s place on the council is newcomer Steven Tindell, 39, who is in insurance and has lived in Robinson 34 years.
After Election Day, the council will appoint the city’s mayor at its meeting after the newly elected council is sworn in.
Riesel City Council
Riesel residents will get a new mayor come November and can vote to fill the two at-large seats on the city council.
Mayor Roger Fitzpatrick opted not to run again, citing business and family obligations, city officials said.
Council member Brandon Blasingame, 40, decided to not finish his term, which ends in November 2017, in order to run for mayor.
Blasingame, a Waco police officer, has lived in Riesel for 25 years. He was elected as a council member in November 2015.
Council member Phyllis Koester, 60, has been challenged for a spot on the council by newcomers Ray Wornat, 29, Deanna L. Mulsow, 47, and Jeff Tanner, 46.
West City Council
Four people are running for the three at-large seats on the West City Council.
Jack Barber, retired from the U.S. Army, is challenging the three incumbents — Mayor Pro Tem Steve Vanek, Brian Muska and Cheryl Marak — for a seat on the council.
Moody City Council
Four people are running for two at-large seats on the Moody City Council.
Mayor Ken Brown had no challengers for his seat.
Tina Eaton, 56, the Moody Elementary School principal, and T.D. Red Watkins, 73, who is retired, are challenging incumbents Charleen Dowell and John Carpenter for the two seats.
Robinson and Riesel residents also have referendums to consider on the November ballot.
Robinson residents will get to vote on whether to allow the sale of mixed beverages in restaurants by food-and-beverage liquor license holders.
Riesel finalized a ballot initiative that would designate 0.25 percent of the tax rate for use in a street maintenance fund.
Also, in West, residents will vote on whether to designate an eighth of a cent out of the sales tax rate for use in an economic development fund.
Also in November, Democrat Bill Matta, a McLennan Community College English instructor, will face U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, in the race for District 17, which includes Waco.
Uncontested city races
Only incumbents filed for the Ross City Council seats up for election. Mayor Jim Jaska, Mayor Pro Tem Rick Maddox and council member David Filer will continue in the at-large seats with two-year terms.
Only incumbents filed for the Hallsburg City Council seats up for election. Mayor Mike Glockzin and council members Rick Wegwerth and Mike Fitch will serve another term.
One person filed for each of the Bruceville-Eddy City Council seats up for election. Council member Connally Bass will fill the mayor seat with an unexpired one-year term remaining. Taking the three two-year council seats in November will be council members Halbert Wilcox and Allen Trigg Sr. and retired police officer Frank Holt.
Only incumbents filed for the Leroy City Council seats up for election. Mayor Ernest Moravec and council members Gail Ondrej and Charles Bud Garrison will fill the three council seats.
None of the races drew as much attention as that for the Riesel Independent School District board.
Seven people applied for the two Riesel ISD board seats up for election.
Ben Saage, Ruth Anne Schroeder, Adam Benton, Mike Searight, Kooper Sjolander, Leigh Ann Holloway and incumbent Chris Dieterich will be on the ballot. The top two vote getters will get the seats.
Moody ISD will have a contested race for its three at-large seats up for election.
Newcomer Leanna Sanchez will challenge three incumbents for one of the three seats with three-year terms.
Incumbents Jeff Dean, Justin L. Foster and Carol Haas are running for office again.
Oglesby ISD will also hold an election.
David Walker is challenging three incumbents for the three at-large seats up for election.
The incumbents who have filed to run again are Jennifer Thompson, Rebecca Schultz and Ed Newman.
Axtell ISD also has a newcomer challenging three incumbents for three at-large seats.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Joe “Scooter” Bays is challenging incumbents Ricky L. Stecher, Brian Frankum and James Caldwell.
One of the two seats up for the Robinson ISD board attracted a challenger.
Two newcomers are running for the Place 3 seat. Barry Gann, who is retired from education, and Danielle M. Williams, a Baylor University English lecturer, will vie for the open seat.
No one challenged incumbent Jeff Strain for the board of trustee place 4 seat.
Only incumbents filed for the two West ISD board of trustees seats up for election.
Ken Sykora and Robin Waters will retain their seats, and the district will cancel its election.
Only incumbents filed for the three Bruceville-Eddy ISD seats up for election.
Ki Jones, Place 3; Michelle Copeland, Place 4; and Doug Murrey, Place 5, will each keep their seats.
Hallsburg ISD has three , three-year term, at-large seats up for grabs. The incumbents Norman Huddleston, John F. Jachetta and Jeff Pechacek, ran unopposed for the seat.
Police officer Charles Conner ran unopposed for the formally vacated seat that has one year left on it.