GALVESTON — District 6 candidate Marie Robb wanted it to be clear that she did not knock her opponent Carolyn Sunseri from the stage during the opening statements of Wednesday’s candidates.
Sunseri took an accidental tumble backward at the beginning of the forum and came away unharmed.
Relatively few literal or figurative elbows were thrown as 13 of the 15 candidates running for City Council positions participated in a candidate’s forum at Ball High School on Wednesday evening.
The candidates who participated in the forum were Cornelia Harris Banks, Tarris Woods, Craig Brown, Susan Fennewald, Richard Batie, Kate Marx, Ralph McMorris, Norman Pappous, David Hoover, Diana Bertini, Terrilyn Tarlton, Marie Robb and Carolyn Sunseri.
On the crowded stage, the candidates, four incumbents and nine challengers, worked to set themselves apart from the crowd.
Others took the opportunity to create a clear dividing line between themselves and their district opponents.
After District 5 candidate Terrilyn Tarlton called using Galveston police officers to enforce the city’s seawall parking program a “mistake”, her opponent, Diana Bertini, saw an opening.
“I would never apologize for additional police force anywhere,” Bertini said.
In other cases, the dividing lines came through individual proposals. Former council member Tarris Woods, a District 1 candidate, used the platform as a place to propose new policies. Woods, in his closing statement of the night, said he wanted to set a $10.10 minimum wage for all city employees.
Of the four incumbent candidates — Robb, Banks, Pappous and Tarlton — Tarlton spent the most amount time speaking about her accomplishments during the past two years, highlighting her involvement in the creation of dedicated neighborhood improvement fund and her efforts to oppose changes to city city’s flood plain maps.
Pappous, who like Tarlton is running for a second term on the council, acknowledged that he had not accomplished, or in some instances failed to live up to, the promises made during the last election.
“In the past two years, I’ve seen the City Council put a lot of things first, but quite often the citizens of Galveston are being put second,” Pappous said.
Election Day is May 10. Early voting begins April 28.
Contact reporter John Wayne Ferguson at 409-683-5226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.