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Lori Blong defeats Jerry Morales in race to be Midland’s next mayor

Lori Blong
Mitch Borden
Marfa Public Radio
Lori Blong joined the Midland City Council in 2020, after almost three years serving the community she believes she's read to lead as mayor.

Current city councilwoman Lori Blong swept Midland’s mayoral election, defeating her main opponent with over 51% of the vote.

The race for Midland mayor was decided by 2,115 votes and Midlanders have elected Lori Blong to be their new mayor and, reportedly, the first woman to lead the city.

Late on Tuesday night, Blong told a local news station that this was “a difficult election,” but she was thankful for the support she received.

“I'm excited about the months and years ahead of us,” Blong said. “And I'm very excited about the opportunity to serve Midland further.”

Blong currently sits on the Midland City Council, representing west Midland. Her main opponent in the November midterms was Jerry Morales, a former mayor of Midland. Both candidates got into the race following the surprise announcement in August that Midland Mayor Patrick Payton would not seek a second term.

During their campaigns, the two touted their experience to help lead the city as well as their conservative values. Blong was committed to continuing the work on projects like building out infrastructure to transport drinking water to the city from the Fort Stockton area.

She’s also been involved in ambitious quality-of-life projects such as the opening of Midland Trail Park and pursuing a multi-million dollar public-private partnership to expand Midland’s Hogan Park.

Blong was also able to secure multiple endorsements, including Mayor Payton and three other past Midland mayors. While Morales touted his leadership experience as a former city council member and two-term mayor, Blong previously told Marfa Public Radio she had just as much experience that had prepared her to lead Midland.

“There’s not a lack of experience…I’m running a business, I’m running a family, I’m functioning in leadership in other capacities.”

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