When the dust finally settled, seven candidates had their paperwork back at Hico City Hall, officially tossing their hats into the ring for three city council seats.

Two sitting council members, Bo McClammy and Linda Koonsman, will face five other candidates in the at-large election on May 9.

McClammy is trying for his third term on the council.

“We’re working on renovations at City Hall and I’d like to see the project get underway,” McClammy said.

He added he has been an area resident for a long time and would like to help guide the city through the next few years.

Koonsman, who is a librarian for the Hico school district, has served on the city council for four years.

Daniel D. New is a newcomer to the council, but not to the area.

“My family has been in this county for 140 years and it’s time to give back to the community,” New said.

New said he runs a farm and has experience running his own business and working overseas.

“We’re going to need some (financial) belt tightening,” New said.

Steve Morgan moved to Hico from Dallas about five and half years ago.

“Hico, like many communities, has been hamstrung by the financial situation,” Morgan said. “I’d like to be able to put my experience to work.”

Morgan has served as the chairman of the Texas Steak Cookoff and Tourist Trap and is currently the president of the Hico Economic Development Board.

Patrick McLaughlin moved to Hico six years ago with his wife Jana and fell in love with the town.

His wife became ill shortly after they moved and the outpouring of support they received from the community touched the McLaughlin’s.

“We’ve fallen in love with the town,” McLaughlin said. “The citizens need a city councilman they can talk to and give input.”

Dustin O’Bannan is another challenger in the May election.

“I want to be a positive influence,” O’Bannan said.

Local business owner Mike James hopes to bring a new approach to the council.

“I feel as if Hico needs some quality leadership,” James said.

He moved to Hico three and half years ago and served on the Sanger City Council for six years before transplanting in Hico.