With the closing of the filing period for Odessa City Council candidates on Monday, candidates for two different districts are guaranteed to replace their outgoing city council incumbents, having entered their races unopposed, leaving only one contested race on the ballot in November.
Outgoing District 4 Councilman Tom Sprawls will be succeeded by Greg Connell, who will win the race by default since no other candidates filed.
Connell, age 67, carries support from local Republican leaders for the spot – is a veteran and self-described conservative Republican whose campaign platform includes pro-family and pro-law enforcement themes. Connell is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
Outgoing Councilwoman in District 3 Detra White will be succeeded by Gilbert Vasquez, who also won his election unopposed, with no other candidates filing for the spot.
The only contested race will be for District 5, the seat currently held by outgoing Councilwoman Mari Willis.
Shaye Lane, a local associate pastor, will face Christopher Hanie, who works for a local industrial service company for the spot.
Ector County Republican Party Chair Tisha Crow told Odessa Headlines while she believes contested elections are best to allow voters to have options, she was happy for Connell to win with strong unopposed support and said voters will have some good candidates to choose from in the district 5 race.
“Councilman-elect Connell’s victory is a historic win for Republicans in Odessa,” Crow stated, for the first time I can recall, Odessa will be represented by a new city council majority comprised of conservative God-fearing Republican patriots, and I am excited to see this new era of conservative leadership.”
Voters in district 5 will select their new council-member in the upcoming November 8, General Election.
Once elected, the new council members will assume office on a tentative date of November 22.