Two local offices in Odessa will see contested races, as challengers for the positions filed to run against incumbent officeholders who are also seeking re-election.  

Incumbent Ector County ISD Trustee Chris Stanley will face challenger Jesse Christesson for the Position 4 spot.  

Stanley, who works as an art professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, was appointed to the position over Christesson, who also sought the appointment in August of last year.  

The school board had a vacancy in the place 4 position when former school board member Doyle Woodall resigned last year. Whoever is chosen by the position 4 voters in May will serve a 4-year term.  

Meanwhile, the Ector County Hospital Board of Directors will also see a challenged seat, with incumbent board member Ben Quiroz facing challenger Kathy Rhodes for the District 7 spot.  

Quiroz, a local chiropractor, is nearing the end of his first 4-year term in office, after being elected to the spot by unseating former board member Virgil Trower for the spot. Controversy surrounded the hospital at the time when a former CEO defunded the health insurance accounts of the hospital’s retired employees and used the hospital’s privilege of sovereign immunity to avoid being sued by the retirees for raiding their insurance and breaching contracts.  

Several activists who worked to protect the retiree’s in the last election say they support drafting a challenger to Quiroz after they say he “flipped” once in office and ultimately refused to support restoring the retiree’s health insurance and voted to raise taxes his first year in office.   

Challenger Kathy Rhodes, a local businesswoman who owns Custom Wholesale and Supply with her husband Eddy, points to her business background and lists “fiscal prudence” among her issues for running – noticeably touching on honoring the commitments to hospital employees.  

According to the Texas Secretary of State Election’s Division, early voting for the May elections begins April 19, and runs through April 27. Election Day will be held on May 1.  

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Matt Stringer is a journalist from Odessa, Texas.