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Challengers Sweep Odessa City Council Runoff Signaling Major Change

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Voters in Odessa will be seeing a major change-up in city leadership, with three incumbent members of the council being swept from office in a wave of support for their challengers. 

Javier Joven, Denise Swanner, and Mark Matta all maintained significant leads as vote totals started trickling in after the polls closed on Tuesday. 

Joven, a former city councilman, was challenging recent District 2 Councilman Dewey Bryant for the office of Mayor. Final reports show Joven winning the post with 2,519 votes to 1,568: or 61.63% to 38.37%. 

Swanner faced incumbent Mayor David Turner, who is term-limited out in his present post as mayor, for the At-Large council position. Final results show Swanner besting Turner with a staggering 70.27% to Turner’s 29.73%: or 2,863 to 1,211. 

For the District 1 council position, incumbent Councilman Michael Shelton faced challenger Mark Matta, who prevailed with 333 votes to Shelton’s 210: or 61.33% to 38.67%.

Joven, Swanner, and Matta were all endorsed by the Ector County Republican Party for the election. 

The race saw considerable contention, with accusations and attack ads coming from both sides, coupled with controversies that arose over issues such as the handling of a $40,000 Christmas tree the purchased, and incumbent Mayor Turner’s tax liens.

All three candidates will be sworn into office on January 12, 2021, to four-year terms in office. 

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