San Marcos City Clerk Sherry Mashburn, right, reads the run-off results at City Hall Tuesday night, while winning candidate Ryan Thomason and outgoing Councilmember Pam Couch, left, look on. Photo by Andy Sevilla.
By ANDY SEVILLA
San Marcos Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commissioner Ryan Thomason comfortably won a seat on the city council Tuesday night, defeating academic advisor Lisa Marie Coppoletta in a run-off election that drew 1,138 voters.
Thomason took two-thirds of the early vote and cruised to victory, although Coppoletta closed the gap slightly during Tuesday’s voting. Thomason finished with 696 votes (61.38 percent) to Coppoletta’s 438 (38.62 percent).
“Finally,” Thomason said. “It’s really nice to be able to move forward and do the job now.”
Thomason finished just three votes short of winning a three-way contest for the seat during the Nov. 3 election. Thomason took 960 of 1,924 votes cast, while Coppoletta finished a distant second with 504 votes to qualify for the run-off. Small business owner Shaune Maycock finished out of the running with 460 votes.
Thomason and Coppoletta have campaigned for going on five months, since they both filed for the Place 5 seat in early August. Coppoletta, who lost to Chris Jones in a November 2008 bid for the city council, kick-started her initiative last January, when she first announced she would run for the seat being vacated by Pam Couch.
Thomason’s weakest showing during the run-off came on Election Day, when he took 384 (57.23 percent) of 671 votes cast, while Coppoletta won 287 (42.77 percent) votes, improving on her early vote record.
Thomason overshadowed Coppoletta in the ten-day early vote, taking 277 (67.73 percent) of the 409 votes cast by personal appearance, while Coppoletta picked up 132 (32.27 percent) votes. The absentee vote yielded similar results, giving Thomason 35 (64.81 percent) of 54 votes cast, whereas Coppoletta gained 19 (35.19 percent) votes.
“I feel really good about leaving now,” said Couch, whose last meeting as a councilmember will be on Wednesday. “I feel we have a fair and balanced candidate up there (on city council) making good decisions for the city … He’s not an extremist, he’s a good fair and balanced individual … He won’t be swayed by anyone.”
Thomason said he will concentrate on economic development for San Marcos, as well as attracting living wage paying jobs.
“Congratulations (to Thomason) on winning the run-off election,” Coppoletta said in a statement. “I personally like Ryan and hope he does well on the council. I want the people who supported me to know that together we will keep their concerns before council and work to preserve the best of San Marcos.”
Said Thomason, “(Coppoletta) ran a good and fair race. We both made the efforts that needed to be made. We both love San Marcos.”
San Marcos City Clerk Sherry Mashburn announced the results in the foyer to the city council chamber, where Thomason, Couch, Mayor Susan Narvaiz and others waited to hear them.
The room went into a congratulatory roar and applause for the new councilmember. The happiness felt in the room was briefly interrupted after Mashburn said only 1,138 (3.93 percent) of 28,954 San Marcos registered voters cast ballots, prompting Narvaiz to yell to Thomason, “Who cares? You won!”
Narvaiz said the election results are scheduled to be canvassed on Dec. 23 at noon. Mashburn said only two councilmembers present are needed for the canvassing.Email | Print