Midlothian bond props pass; incumbents win new terms

Hartson successful in re-election bid; Vineyard, Gonzalez, Peña win MISD board seats

Bill Spinks
Midlothian Mirror
The Midlothian Conference Center.
Hud Hartson
Gary Vineyard
Eduardo Gonzalez
Richard Pena

All four City of Midlothian bond issue propositions gained approval from voters, and incumbents Hud Hartson and Gary Vineyard Jr. won re-elections to three-year terms on the Midlothian City Council and MISD Board of Trustees respectively in unofficial final results from Saturday’s joint election.

Also winning election to the MISD board for the first time were Eduardo Gonzalez and Richard Peña.

About 21 percent of Midlothian’s registered voters participated in the 2021 Bond Election and approved all four propositions on the ballot, totaling $125.575 million.

Proposition A, the construction of a public safety and police headquarters on the property currently occupied by the Police Department at a cost of $46 million, gained 3,031 votes in support as opposed to 1,840 votes against as of 9:12 p.m. Saturday. Proposition B, a new downtown City Hall and public library for $25 million, passed with 2,788 votes to 2,070 votes against.

Proposition C, a recreation center for $19 million, was the closest among the four referendum measures, garnering just 2,636 votes for to 2,238 votes against. Proposition D, for six city street and road improvements for $35.5 million, won passage with more than 70 percent of votes in the affirmative.

“I am very encouraged by the voter turnout for this election. It was my hope that citizens’ voices be heard and I feel it is safe to say that they will be,” Mayor Richard Reno said. “Now it is the responsibility of City Council to approve implementation plans for the projects and prudent issuance of bonds.”

In the sole contested race for City Council, Hartson won a solid majority against challengers Tiffany Robinson Carra and Allen Moorman to avoid a second runoff. Hartson had 2,647 votes, or 62.87 percent, against Carra’s 1,184 votes and Moorman’s 379.

"Thank you for all of your support," Hartson told his supporters. "Nobody ever wins an election alone and I had to (have) a of support. For that, I’m forever. Grateful."

Hartson won election to a full three-year term after winning a runoff against Carra last December to complete the term of the late Art Pierard.

Place 5 incumbent and Mayor Pro Tem Justin Coffman was unopposed for re-election to another three-year term.

In the races for seats on the MISD board of trustees, Vineyard won by a 56-44 margin over challenger Lisa Castillo to gain a second term on the board in Place 2.

"I am so deeply honored to be re-elected to serve this district another term," Vineyard posted on Facebook. "I am equally excited to welcome Richard M Peña and Eduardo Gonzalez to serve with me on the board of trustees for MISD."

In a four-way Place 1 board race, Peña gained the most votes with 47.03 percent, with Crystal Rentz second with 32.6 percent, Steven Garippa with 13.11 percent and Develda Edgington with 7.26 percent. The seat was vacant following the December death of board president Carl Smith.

In the open election for Place 3, Gonzalez won election to the board with a victory of almost 1,000 votes against Symphony Lowe. Gonzalez received 3,384 votes, or 57.57 percent, to Lowe’s 2,494 votes, and will take the place of Heather Prather, who did not run for re-election.