By Charlotte Aguilar
Bellaire residents won’t know until Dec. 9 who their new mayor is, but women candidates have locked down the three council seats that were up for grabs Tuesday (Nov. 7).
The showdown to become the city’s first new mayor in eight years is down to two attorneys: Top vote-getter Gus Pappas, a former two-term Bellaire councilman who served for four years as mayor pro tem, and Aaron Perry, a City Hall outsider whose $56,000-plus campaign gained him an 81-vote edge over Councilman Nathan Wesely for a spot on the runoff ballot.
The unofficial vote broke down this way, with 694 of 701 Harris County vote centers reporting as of 6 a.m. Tuesday:
Pappas 1,827 41.94%
Perry 1,305 29.96%
Wesely 1,224 28.10%
Half of the City Council seats were also up for election in two-person races dominated by female candidates.
In Position 2, incumbent Catherine Lewis easily notched a second term over Mike Stanton, while Cindy Cohen Taylor defeated Elan Tavor for Position 4, and Jackie Georgiou swept past Kevin Newman for Position 6. Wesely had chosen to run for mayor rather than seek re-election to Position 4, and incumbent Jim Hotze did not run for re-election in 6.
Lewis 2,854 72.92%
Stanton 1,060 27.08%
Tavor 1,773 43,68%
Taylor 2,286 56.32%
Newman 1,351 34.47%
Georgiou 2,568 65.53%
The mayor and new councilmembers will be installed in January.
One other bit of Bellaire business was decided Tuesday. Voters authorized city leaders to sell Ruffino Hills, a former 70-acre landfill site in far southwest Houston long shared with West University Place. The city of Houston bought West U’s portion of the site last December for $10.5 million and has indicated an interest in buying Bellaire’s share. Because the property is considered parkland, any sale by Bellaire required voter authorization.