Incumbent Mayor Richard Westerman (left) and Councilor Dave Rhodes answered questions from Marble Falls residents at a candidates forum sponsored by DailyTrib.com in March. Rhodes beat Westerman in the May 6 mayor's race by two votes. Staff photo by Suzanne Freeman
Incumbent Mayor Richard Westerman has asked for a hand recount of the May 6 mayoral race results after losing to Councilor Dave Rhodes by only two votes. The unofficial vote totals posted by the Burnet County Elections Office were 226 to 224.
Westerman is especially interested in the 11 mail-in ballots cast.
“I learned something in this election because there was an unusual amount of mail-in votes this time,” Westerman said. “I’ve never attempted to go down that road (of a recount). With that, and losing by two votes, there is a very slight possibility there was an error. If there is one error, it’s a tie.”
Westerman said he has received public support for a recount.
“I’ve had a number of people reach out to me and ask for me to do a recount,” he said. “I think once the recount is done and it comes in at exactly the same thing, it confirms it for both parties.”
Rhodes is ambivalent toward Westerman’s decision to move forward with a recount.
“It’s his business,” Rhodes said. “I don’t care one way or the other. I’m fine. It’s part of the system. If that’s what he wants to do, then go do it.”
Regardless of the outcome of the challenge, Rhodes is grateful for the amount of support his campaign generated.
“I am ecstatic and humbled beyond words,” he said. “I give credit to Richard. That’s a formidable opponent on several fronts. If I didn’t think we’d ever have a chance, I wouldn’t have done it, but we did and we got the votes out there. All the support was just amazing.”
Also on Marble Falls ballots were the races for places 4 and 2 on the City Council. Place 4 incumbent Bryan Walker won with 249 votes over 153 votes for former Councilor Rene Rosales. Place 2 candidate Karlee Cauble received 237 votes to defeat John Davis, who got 156 votes.
As he moves into his second term, Walker plans to continue advocating for government transparency.
“One of the things I was pretty passionate about in my first term was to try and figure out a way to livestream or to have the council meetings broadcasted,” he said. “I want to keep pushing that and see if we can get the roots laid for that and get it to move forward.”
He also hopes councilors continue to look at how to improve the Mormon Mill-Mission Hill intersection at U.S. 281.
“I really want to see something done with (that intersection),” Walker said. “I think we have some ideas and some things we can move forward with that aren’t going to cost an arm and a leg as far as engineering.”
Cauble was pleased with this year’s election turnout.
“I am thrilled to serve our beautiful city,” she told DailyTrib.com. “Our local elections are so very important. I appreciate everyone who took the time to get out and vote.”
She hopes to learn more about the inner workings of the city’s government during her first term on the council.
“As I am new to council, I look forward to gaining a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes,” she said. “While I don’t have a particular agenda, I simply wish to serve to the best of my abilities and make the most logical decisions as each item is addressed.”