2018 Elections: Change is in the wind for the city of Rusk

by Cristin Parker

All three Rusk City Council incumbents were ousted after votes were tallied in the Rusk City Council general election, held Saturday, May 5. Polls closed at 7 p.m. on Saturday and, complete but unofficial, results were counted and finally posted about 11 p.m.

Candidates Martin Holsome, Ken Ferrara and Jan Pate were elected to Districts 3, 4 and 5, respectively.

“Voter turn out was better than usual,” Rusk City Secretary Cinda Etheridge said as she, several candidates and other community members waited for results outside the former council chambers at Rusk City Hall Saturday evening. “We want to thank everyone for coming out and voting during this election.”

District 3 winner Martin Holsome said Saturday night after results were posted, “I am honored and privileged to be of service to my hometown. I can’t thank God enough for His love and mercy and grace during this campaign – could not have done it without Him!”

District 5 seat winner Jan Pate also said Saturday night, “I think the people have spoken and they’ve said there needs to be a change. We’ve heard the voices of the people and now we need to move forward and start making things better.”

District 4 winner Ken Ferrara said in a written statement provided to the Herald on Sunday, “I promise to give a voice to all of District 4 and to everyone the opportunity to be heard. … I feel honored that I am going to have the opportunity to serve my neighbors and to have a voice in healing this city.”

Votes will be officially canvassed during an upcoming city council meeting. Complete, but unofficial, results for Saturday’s city council election were:

District 3: Candidate Martin Holsome, 72 votes; incumbent Don Jones, 71 votes.

District 4: Candidate Ken Ferrara, 68 votes; incumbent Don Woodard, 59 votes.

District 4: Candidate Jan Pate, 54 votes; incumbent Tedd Debbs, 52 votes. Other candidates seeking the District 5 seat included Kelly Clay, 26 votes; William Holland, 15 votes; and Ben Mims, five votes.

The Rusk Independent School Board at-large school board election was also held Saturday. A complete, but unofficial, tally of those ballots were posted around 9 p.m. Saturday night.

Incumbent Britt Patterson was relected to his seat on the RISD school board with 329 votes. Patterson has served four terms as a RISD trustee.

“It is my honor to serve the citizens, staff and students of Rusk ISD,” he said in a statement published on the district’s website.

Candidate Montie Sunday won the second school board seat with 262 votes. Sunday retired from Rusk ISD recently.

Other candidates seeking a seat on the school board included:

Oliver Sturns, 199 votes;

Clint Goff, 175 votes;

Clay Robinson, 66 votes; and Mike Hamilton, 60 votes.

School board officials will canvas their election results during an upcoming school board meeting as well.