Ousted MCH board member says Napper retiring but then backtracks

In a landslide, challenger Wallace Dunn won the District 6 spot on the Ector County Hospital District Board beating out Mary Thompson, current president and longtime board member.
Thompson left a voice mail for an OA reporter saying CEO Rick Napper was retiring but later backtracked and said she meant he would eventually retire.
In unofficial final results, Dunn received 151 votes, or 68.95 percent; and Thompson got 68 votes, or 31.05 percent.
The total number of voters in the joint hospital board -Odessa College election was 637 of 41,693, or 1.53 percent, according to the Ector County Elections Office.
This was Dunn’s first time running for office. He is an oilfield salesman.
“I’m excited,” Dunn said. “I was looking for something to do to give back to the community. This just was good timing.”
He said he felt confident all along that he would win.
“I tried to run a clean campaign. Anytime I ever talked about my opponent, I thanked her for her 30 years of service. I told her I’m a gentleman and I planned to act like one,” Dunn said.
Dunn said the things he ran on were transparency, community, financial stability.
“I’m excited that I can work towards that,” Dunn said.
The past week has shown “we have a lot of issues up there,” he added.
“If I could do one thing, I would improve the image in the community, and again, I’m excited. Now it’s time to get to work,” Dunn said.
He added that win or lose, he made a lot of new friends.
Results will be canvassed by the hospital board and OC board of trustees.
Thompson said the voters have spoken.
“And I am holding my head high. I’m proud of the 29 years that I have served on that board. I just don’t think anybody else is ever going to serve that long, but we’ve got the hospital turned around into a ship going in the right direction now,” Thompson said.
A voice mail from her said:
“I do hate it that (President and CEO Rick) Napper is going to retire because that’s going to leave a big void in the hospital. But the hospital will carry on and it’s a wonderful hospital and I can be nothing but proud of my 29 years of service,” she added.
Thompson called CBS 7 and the OA later to say she meant he would probably going to retire in the future and that she misspoke.
The race between Thompson and Dunn grew contentious when Thompson called for Dunn to step down after bringing up Dunn’s 2004 arrest record in Bexar County during a candidate forum. Thompson said at the time Dunn, who stressed transparency in his campaign, had not been very transparent with the public in disclosing his troubled past.
Dunn, who said all of his charges had been dismissed, said at the time Thompson’s attack was out of desperation and “her heady vindictiveness is just a sign of her insecurity because she knows she’s going to lose this election.”
Thompson, a retired nurse, had only drawn a few challengers for the District 6 seat during her tenure on the board with the most recent election prior to Saturday’s being in 2006. Thompson won the seat in 2006 by getting 19 more votes than her opponent at the time, Mark Darville, an Ector County Elections Office official previously told the Odessa American.
Incumbent Odessa College Board of Trustees President Tommy Clark was reelected to his District 9 position. Clark is vice president of operations with AmeriPride.
He faced challengers Laci Harris and Robert Brescia.
Harris is unit director for the 6 Central and 6 West floors at Medical Center Hospital.
Bresica was executive director of the University of Texas Permian Basin’s John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute. He is is currently a post doctoral student at Sul Ross State University in Alpine where he is enrolled in the superintendent certification course to obtain a license for kindergarten through 12th grade districts.
The OC position is a six-year term and the hospital board is a four-year term.
Clark has been on the board for six years and this gives him another six.
Clark netted 314 votes, or 51.22 percent; Harris got 173 votes, or 28.22 percent; and Brescia received 126 votes, or 20.55 percent.
“I do believe it was a very well run race by all three candidates for this position,” Clark said.
He added that he appreciated the efforts of Harris and Brescia to step up and run.
“… I think both of the are very fine people and winners in my book. They did a great job. I was real proud to stand with them today,” Clark said.
He thanked everyone for their support and said he would try to continue with the good things going on at OC.
Harris could not be reached for comment Saturday.
Brescia offered congratulations to all the winners and said the races were all well conducted and well fought.
“I think in the case of Odessa College, it’s a great school doing wonderful things. Any of us that would have won would have been up to the task and would have served well. Odessa College and Odessa City is the winner of this contest. I think both of them, Ms. Harris and Mr. Clark, are both great folks. I was wonderful to get to know them,” Brescia said.
He said he may run for office again.
In early voting, 270 people cast votes.
Sixty-six people, or 69.47 percent of voters cast ballots for Dunn.
Thompson got 29 votes, or 30.53 percent.
Dunn, an oilfield salesman, had never run for office before.
Clark got 148 votes, or 57.59 percent; Harris received 58 votes, or 22.57 percent; and Brescia got 51 votes, or 19.84 percent.