Gerlt wins District 4 runoff, says Lubbock 'needs vision' - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Gerlt wins District 4 runoff, says Lubbock 'needs vision'

Jim Gerlt Jim Gerlt
Paul R. Beane Paul R. Beane
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Jim Gerlt has won the District 4 runoff and taken the City Council seat from incumbent Paul R. Beane. Gerlt won with 60% of the vote.

Gerlt won 63% of the votes cast on Saturday, winning 307 of the 490 votes cast

Gerlt received 1,690 and Beane received 1,155 of the 2,845 early votes cast.

Dorothy Kennedy with the Lubbock County Elections Division said Saturday turnout was down because many voters are on vacation and some of them are just "burned out" from the number of local elections that have been pushed back into late spring and early summer.

Although Beane received more votes than Gerlt in the May 29 election, a run-off was required when no candidate was able to meet the 50% +1 threshold.

Beane received 45%, Jim Gerlt got 42% and Dwight Fullingim earned 13% of votes cast for the May 29 election.

KCBD's Emily Black was there to ask Gerlt how he felt about his victory. Gerlt described himself as "In shock, a little numb - excited, honored and humbled."

Gerlt described his 40 years as a pastor as "good training" for city council.

"When you're a pastor, you have to serve as a leader, you have to set vision, you have to serve as a steward of other people's money," Gerlt said.

Gerlt assures Lubbock residents that he will keep LP&L rates "as low as possible" but warns that they will probably have to go up at some point in the future.

"If Xcel is charging us more than what we're selling electricity for, that's not a sustainable business model," Gerlt said.

Gerlt said if the city of Lubbock wants to attract business, it needs vision - a plan for the future that stretches 20 to 25 years.

Gerlt says, "We've got to do some visioncasting, kind of set some direction on where we want to go. We know people will be coming here and we've got to get ready..."

We also spoke with Paul Beane, who has served on the council since 2008. Beane says he is "forever thankful" to the Hub City.

Beane said, "When my wife and I came here we had two babies and a worn-out Plymouth and what little we've been able to cobble together we owe to the good folks of Lubbock."

Copyright 2012 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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