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Five Races In Midland And Odessa Are Set To Be Decided By Runoff Elections

By Mitch Borden

Front runners in three city council races in Odessa and two school board elections in Midland failed to the votes needed for them to claim total victory. Since candidates were unable to get over 50% of votes cast run-off elections were triggered.

Leaving those who qualified for the runoffs to figure out how they can maintain their lead or capture an upset victory.

The City of Odessa’s election for Mayor will have to be decided by a runoff race that will pit front runner and current councilmember Dewey Bryan against former councilman Javiar Joven. Current Odessa Mayor David Turner reached his term limit for the position leaving it up for grabs.

Mayor Turner’s name however will also appear on a runoff ballot because he opted to run for the city council’s at-large seat. He led the race on Tuesday, but in the end, he couldn’t get the majority of votes needed to take the seat. He’ll face off against Denise Swanner in the runoff for the at-large position.

For Odessa’s District 1 council position, Mark Matta and Michael K. Shelton will compete for that seat on the council. 

In Midland, education was the big topic of election night. Four seats on Midland Independent School District’s board of trustees, the majority of the board, were contested. The incumbents representing Midland ISD’s districts 2 and 7 were easily able to hold on to their position on the school board. 

In District 1 however, James Fuller, the oldest and longest-serving member of the school board, will have to defend his place as one of the district’s trustees in a runoff against Michael Booker. In a close, three-way race, Fuller came out as the front runner while Booker narrowly came in second place beating Matt Reyes Galindo by eight votes. 

Over in Midland ISD’s district 4, two possible newcomers will battle for a place on the school board. Steve Vargas was the front runner on Tuesday night but couldn’t edge out Katie Wallace Joyner.

Mitch Borden is Permian Basin Reporter & Producer at Marfa Public Radio.