By George Slaughter
Katy Ward B Council Member Durran Dowdle was re-elected to his post Saturday, while challengers Chris Harris and Janet Corte won their respective races for council member at-large and Ward A council member, respectively.
Dowdle was re-elected to his third and final term under term limits. Harris and Corte were making their first bids for public office.
The trio will take their oaths of office later this month.
Dowdle drew 541 votes, or 62%, to defeat Sam Pearson, who drew 325 votes, or 38%.
Efforts to reach Dowdle Saturday night were unsuccessful.
Pearce, a retired peace officer and minister, said the race was close for a non-mayoral election year.
“There were a lot of votes that were cast,” Pearson said. “I like the fact we ran a professional race between the two of us, nothing negative. It was a blessing to be involved. I enjoyed it and if I made one person change a little bit, it was successful.”
Harris drew 921 votes, or 66%, to defeat Larry Gore, who drew 479 votes, or 34%.
Harris is an analyst at the U.S. Department of Justice. Gore is a businessman and former council member.
“It was a great race, and I’m ready to serve the citizens of Katy,” Harris said. “I love this town and it was a great race.”
Gore said he was disappointed in losing, but he ran the race he wanted to run.
“Voters decided they wanted something different,” Gore said, adding that Harris ran alongside Dowdle and Corte during the campaign.
“They ran together as a team, no doubt about it,” Gore said. “I didn’t run with any other candidate. I think I was considered part of the old guard and people just didn’t want that. I wish them all the best. People are expecting a lot out of them and we ought to try and help them.”
Harris and Gore were challenging for the seat now held by Council Member Steve Pierson, who is stepping down due to term limits.
Corte drew 321 votes, or 66%, to defeat incumbent Ray Boothe, who drew 165 votes, or 34%.
Corte, a retired IT consultant, was emotional about the results. She read a prepared statement thanking her supporters.
“I want to thank everyone who believed in me and supported me in this race,” Corte said. “I’m going to work hard to represent the citizens of Ward A so that their voices are heard at City Hall. I want to thank Ray Boothe for his service to the city and I wish him well going forward. Thank you.”
Boothe, an insurance executive, was seeking a full term after being elected last year to serve out the term of Chuck Brawner, who resigned that seat to run for mayor. He said he was glad the race was over.
“They did a great job,” Boothe said. “I can’t take anything away from them. They just did a great job. I don’t know what else to say. They just outdid us. They had a great network, and you’ve got to give them credit. They were very efficient.”
All three bond propositions passed easily.
On proposition A, 1,232 voters, or 88%, voted in favor, while 162 voters, or 12% opposed. The proposition, for $4,25 million, is for street work to elevate the 1st Street bridge and Katy Hockley Road (Avenue D). Breaking down the proposition further, $1.25 million is for elevating the bridge, and $3 million is for Katy Hockley Road.
On proposition B, 1,208 voters, or 87%, voted in favor, while 181 voters, or 13% opposed. The proposition, for $10.25 million, is for drainage projects for the Fortuna and Pine Forest subdivisions. Phase II of this project is for a detention pond at Pitts Road.
On proposition C, 1,196 voters, or 86%, voted in favor, while 193 voters, or 14% opposed. The proposition, for $5 million, is for expansion of the city’s sewer plant.