Odessa’s Pending At-Large Seat Draws Candidate

Whether Odessans choose to add an at-large seat to their city council has yet to be decided, but local accountant Peggy Dean is throwing her name in the hat just in case.

The special election to expand Odessa’s city council was initiated earlier this year after a citizen-led petition successfully collected over 2,700 signatures. The petition sought an election, later set for November 2018, that would allow voters to add an at-large position to city council and give the mayor full voting privileges. The city council is currently comprised of five district seats and the mayor can only vote in case of a tie.

Dean announced her candidacy for the proposed at-large position Monday morning at city hall just a few days after the candidate filing period began for November’s general election. She highlighted how her accounting experience would be advantageous when handling public dollars and how, despite residing in East Odessa’s District 2, her “priorities really would be for the growth and improvement of Odessa overall,” according to reports.

Dean is also the mother of Judge Sara Kate Billingsley, who was appointed by Gov. Abbott in 2015 to oversee the newly created 446th District Court in Ector County. Billingsley won reelection in 2016.

With Dean’s election dependent on whether voters approve the at-large seat, she will not only campaign for herself, but for the expansion of city council as well.

City Council Districts 3, 4, and 5 are also up for election this year. While it’s unclear whether any candidates will file to run against District 4 Councilman Michael Gardner and District 5 Councilman Filiberto Gonzales, District 3 Councilwoman Barbara Graff will be unable to seek reelection due to term limits.

The period to file for a place on the general election ballot began Saturday, July 21 and ends Monday, August 20.

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Lauren Melear

Lauren Melear leads the West Texas Bureau for Empower Texans & Texas Scorecard. When not working, Lauren enjoys spending time with her husband and their dog, as well as cooking, working out, traveling to the hill country, and cheering on the fightin' Texas Aggies.

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