Could voter turnout be affected by council's canceled election? - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Could voter turnout be affected by council's canceled election?


The Tyler City Council has canceled its May election after a vote on Wednesday morning. Because all four available seats are uncontested, state law allows the election to be canceled. 

Leslie Strader is the Vice President of Tyler Proud, a group in favor of the Tyler ISD bond.

Strader said she does not expect the cancellation of the city council election to affect voter turnout.

"There's a lot of momentum from within, and we don't see a stop to it at all," Strader said.

The opposition group "No More Excuses, TISD!" coalition feels the same way.

JoAnn Fleming is the Executive Director of Grassroots America and also serves on the coalition.

"I really don't think it will have any impact on the Tyler ISD bond election because traditionally in Tyler for the last 20 years, we've really had very few hotly contested city council races and very, very few Tyler ISD board races," Fleming said.

Gary Landers is the Tyler City Attorney said the lack of challengers is not surprising. 

"We have a very strong heritage of going ahead and serving as many years as they can and often, more often than not, not having a challenger when in office," Landers said.

The election for council District 1,3 and 5 are held on odd numbered years.

Sam Mezayek of District 1 and Mark Whatley of  District 5 both registered for re-election unopposed.

John Nix applied for District 6, the seat vacated by Jason Wright and faces no opposition.

The council members and mayor serve two-year terms with a limit of three consecutive terms.

"Tyler is unique. We are one of the only cities in Texas that actually has term limits for our city council," Landers explained.

Ralph Caraway of District 3 has completed his last term, so Ed Moore applied for his seat, also without a challenger.

Four uncontested posts, but these East Texans said they are not surprised and they are not worried.

"In Smith County, I believe we have some of the most educated voters and they're very aware of issues and they'll be very engaged," Fleming said.

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