With four open seats on the Odessa City Council being up for grabs on the November General Election ballot, a large pool of 13 candidates is vying for the positions making every seat a contested election.
The city council is governed by seven-voting members of the council, comprised of five councilmembers elected by single districts, one at-large member, and the city mayor.
Notably, the four positions represent an opportunity for Odessans to overturn a voting majority in their city government.
However, while each seat up for grabs is technically an open seat, two candidates are incumbent members of the council who are term-limited out for the current positions but are using a loophole in the city charter that allows them to circumvent the term limit restriction by running for a different position.
Incumbent Mayor David Turner and District 2 councilman Dewey Bryant are presently term-limited out, with each nearing the end of their 8 years in office in their current positions.
Turner is now seeking to be elected to the new at-large city council position, and Bryant is now running to be the city mayor.
Two other candidates seeking election to the open positions have also previously served on the city council in the past, including mayoral candidate Javier Joven, and at-large candidate Jo-Ann Davenport Littleton.
Littleton previously served as a councilmember in a single-member district, and most recently lost an unsuccessful bid to challenge Ector County Commission Armando Rodriguez in the Democrat Primary election in 2014.
The three candidates presently vying to the next Mayor of Odessa include Javier Joven, Dewey Bryant, and Gloria Apolinario.
For the at-large position, four contenders include Denise Swanner, incumbent Mayor David Turner, Jo-Ann Davenport Littleton, and La-Tasha Gentry.
The District 1 council position also has four contenders, with Mark Matta, Eddie Mitchell, Tiki Davis, and Michael Shelton.
Lastly, the District 2 seats currently held by Dewey Bryant will have Steven Thompson and Rachel Minor.
Early voting for the November 3, General Election begins October 13 and runs through October 30.
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