It’s runoff day for Odessa city election

It’s been a long campaign season in Odessa but it will finally be over Tuesday as voters will decide the makeup of the Odessa City Council.
Early voting ended Friday with 4,015 early or absentee votes that will be added to today’s Election Day totals with three hot runoffs for mayor and two city council seats on the line.
It’s been a brutal race locally with former District 2 Councilman Dewey Bryant and Javier Joven competing to succeed Mayor David Turner as mayor of Odessa as the city struggles through both COVID-19 and oil and gas woes.
Both Turner and Bryant have termed out of their current seats and are seeking other city offices. Joven is a former councilman in District 5 from 1996 to 1999 who resigned prior to the end of his term. He later ran in 2010, but lost to Dean Combs.
Turner and Denise Swanner are seeking the at-large council seat while the District 1 race is between Mark Matta and appointed incumbent Michael K. Shelton Sr. Shelton was appointed earlier in the year by the city council after Councilman Malcolm Hamilton abruptly resigned.
The runoff election was called because candidates failed to garner 50 percent of the vote plus one – which is required to be declared the winner,
Bryant received 43 percent of the vote and Joven snared 40 percent of the vote during the Nov. 3 general election.
In the at-large council race, Turner claimed 45 percent of the vote and Swanner garnered 29 percent. Turner has served two terms as mayor and Swanner is a newcomer to local politics.
In District 1, Matta picked up 44 percent of the vote and Shelton received 19 percent. Mata is also a political newcomer.
Only Odessan Steven Thompson won his race in November when he defeated Rachel Minor for the District 2 seat. Thompson received 55 percent of the vote; Minor 45 percent.
City of Odessa residents who live in Midland County must vote at the Odessa Country Club, No. 1 Fairway Drive, on Election Day.
Election Day locations in Odessa will include The Globe Theater at Odessa College, Salinas Community Building and First Church of the Nazarene Gymnasium. Voting hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.