It didn’t take long for the Stephenville City Council and SISD board of trustees races to take shape.
Stephenville City Councilman Doug Svien wasted no time filing to run for mayor on Wednesday, the first day filing began.
“I think we have made a lot of really good progress the last few years and I want to continue with that progress,” Svien said. “My goal is to keep taxes low whenever possible.”
Svien, 64, has served on the city council for almost seven years and has served as the Finance Committee chairman for the past five.
Svien is the chief executive officer of The Company of Rock House.
Earlier this month Mayor Kenny Weldon announced that he would not seek re-election in May.
The following is a list of those who had filed by 11 a.m. on Friday.
City councilwoman Carla Trussell filed for her second term on Thursday. She is so far unopposed.
“Serving our community has been an honor and a rewarding experience,” Trussell said. “I hope to be able to continue working on the many ongoing projects and issues before the council.”
On Friday, Brandon Huckabee filed to run for place 8 on the city council. The seat is currently held by Jerry Warren who has not said if he will seek another term.
Huckabee, 36, owns Huckabee Inspection Group. He was born and raised in Stephenville. He graduated from Stephenville High School in 1999 and attended Tarleton State University.
“I see the growth happening and I want to be a part of it - that’s why I started my business here and this is where I am raising my family,” Huckabee said.
Huckabee says he wants to be part of “smart, sustainable” growth.
“Not only do we need to concentrate on our infrastructure, we need to work with local entrepreneurs and outside businesses,” he said.
Huckabee says he understands that with growth comes a strain on city services like the police and fire departments.
“That’s why it’s important for us to include them in the city’s plan for growth,” he said.
Councilmen Brady Pendleton and Alan Nix are also up for another term. Pendleton says he will seek re-election while Nix remains undecided.
With Gary Sult’s announcement that he would not seek re-election to place 1 on the Stephenville ISD board of trustees, Lt. Sha King was the first to throw his name in the hat for the spot on Wednesday.
“This is something I have thought a lot about,” King said. “I have some concerns about how our tax dollars are being spent and I want to make sure that all of our kids are receiving the full benefit of taxpayer money.”
King, 49, has worked for the Stephenville Police Department for 23 years. He graduated from Tarleton State University in 1993 with a degree in criminal justice.
He and his wife have one daughter, a junior at Stephenville High School.
“I want to be a voice for the kids,” King said. “I want to make sure that all of the kids are being spoken for.”
Dr. Julie Howell
Stephenville resident and Tarleton professor Dr. Julie Howell is turning her passion for education into a civic duty.
Howell, 36, filed to run for place 1 on Thursday.
“I’ve always had a passion for education,” Howell said. “I not only want to be a voice for my own children but for all of the children in the district.”
Howell has two older kids who went through the Stephenville school system and two in there now - a second and fourth grader.
Howell is an assistant professor of educational leadership and technology at Tarleton State University, where she earned her Ed.D in Education in 2017.
Trustees Sherri Evans and Keri Vanden Berge are also up for election and have said they will seek another term.
Election Day is Saturday, May 5. The last day to file for a spot on the ballot is Friday, Feb. 16.