By George Slaughter
Bill Hastings, the former Katy police chief, unseated Mayor Chuck Brawner in Saturday’s city election, polling 1,243 votes, or 60%, to Brawner’s 846 votes, or 40%. Hastings was appointed chief in 2009 and retired in January to run for mayor. This was his first run for political office.
Hastings said he got very little sleep the last three days of the campaign, and joked if he could sleep late on Sunday—late being 7 a.m.—it would be a great day.
“It’s the latest I’ve slept since I retired as chief,” Hastings said, adding that he typically awoke at 5:30 a.m. during those years.
Hastings said uniting the community would be his primary goal when he takes office May 14 at City Hall.
“We all need to be all on the same page,” Hastings said. “We need to be in the same sandbox and share our toys. You can’t accomplish anything until you get everyone together.”
Hastings will become the 16th mayor in the city’s history. He is the first mayoral candidate to unseat an incumbent since Johnny Nelson defeated then-Mayor John G. Morrison in 1983, two long-time observers said Saturday.
Hastings will also become the first mayor to serve a three-year term under city charter changes approved by voters in 2017. His term will expire in 2022.
“I’m very honored and humbled to have had the support that I had,” Hastings said. “You know, it’s so neat to look at this crowd, and see so many people that I respect and admire and tried to emulate what they do and how they live their lives. To have them all support me, it’s such an honor, it’s beyond words.”
Brawner defeated insurance executive and former Council Member Hill Adams to become mayor in 2017. He previously held the Ward A council member seat now held by Janet Corte and also served as mayor pro tem. Brawner is a former Spring Branch Independent School District police chief.
For his part, Brawner said Saturday he was happy with what he did as mayor.
“I have no regrets about anything,” Brawner said. “It’s good with me.”
As for his future, Brawner said he planned to enjoy retirement.
Stockdick Wins Ward B Council Seat
In the Ward B council race, Jenifer Jordan Stockdick defeated former Council Member Steve Pierson, polling 671 votes, or 53%, to Pierson’s 595 votes, or 47%.
She will succeed incumbent Jimmy Mendez, who is leaving office due to term limits.
Stockdick said she was pleasantly surprised and overwhelmed with joy over the election results. As a council member, she said first goal was to analyze the city budget.
“I want to really look at the numbers and that they’re allocated in the right way,” Stockdick said, adding that flood mitigation and public safety were key issues. “I want to look at all that and make sure that’s what we need.”
Stockdick, a bank vice president, was a first-time candidate. Pierson was campaigning for a third tenure on the city council. He is a former council member-at-large and previously held Mendez’s Ward B seat.
He congratulated Stockdick on her victory and added that he was “very surprised” by the result. He also said he was happy for Hastings.
“He’s going to be a great mayor,” Pierson said.
In the Ward A council race, incumbent Frank Carroll ran unopposed. Carroll was appointed to the seat last year upon the resignation of Gary Jones.
Carroll and Stockdick will serve two-year terms, expiring in 2021.