Updated 10:54 p.m. Nov. 3
With 100 out of 100 election day precincts reporting and all early-voting totals counted, Jody Czajkoski is the winner of Conroe's mayoral race, garnering 15,035 votes, or 55.61%. Incumbent Toby Powell, who remained on the ballot posthumously, received 12,002 votes, or 44.39%.
Czajkoski said he is looking forward to working with and for the community.
"It is Conroe's time to shine," Czajkoski said. "The future is bright."
He also recognized the challenges of campaigning and the loss of Powell.
"It has been a long, hard fight," he said. "We lost a good man during the race."
Todd Yancey took a strong early lead and maintained it, garnering 68.73% of the votes, or a total of 16,247 votes. Yancey defeated incumbent Duane Ham, who was elected in 2016. Ham received 13.52%, while opponent Brandon Polk earned 17.75%.
"I am very thankful for the people that voted for me, the people that encouraged others to vote for me, and for the prayers," Yancey said.
Carl White and Curt Maddux ran a close race, with Maddux finishing with 51.52% of votes and White with 48.48%.
"I'm so grateful and blessed for everyone who went out and voted," Maddux said on Nov. 4. "I can't wait to work for the city."
The race for Place 5 will head to a runoff, with Kelley Inman currently leading, at 29.37% of votes. The runner up is Marsha Porter, with 22.46%. According to Victoria Endsley, the city's communications coordinator, Inman and Porter will face each other in a runoff election. A date has not been confirmed, but it will likely be held in mid December, she said.
Inman said she believes government should play a limited role.
"My position is government should be involved with things a citizen cannot do for themselves, such as safety and roads," she said,
She said she appreciated the sense of community among candidates—for Place 5, as well as other races—when they were campaigning, as candidates lifted up one another's spirits.
"[We] stopped to pray together at the end of every night," she said. "It was so different from what I would call a traditional political process ... [where] oftentimes there is anger."
Porter said her platform focused on her experience, as she has eight years of serving on City Council. During this time, she never voted for a property tax increase, and instead fought for lower taxes, she said.
She expressed gratitude on election night.
"It's been a privilege to be part of running for the city of Conroe," she said. "I'm glad to have the opportunity to be part of the runoff and to be an advocate for citizens."
Updated 7:55 p.m.
Jody Czajkoski is leading Conroe's mayoral race as of 7:55 p.m. Nov. 3, garnering 55.88% of votes, based off early-voting totals from the Montgomery County Elections Office. Todd Yancey is leading Conroe City Council Place 1 with 69.12% of votes; Curt Maddux is leading Place 2 with 52.20% votes; and Kelley Inman has pulled ahead in the race for Place 5 with 29.50% votes.
Results are updated as of 7:55 p.m. and are unofficial until they are canvassed and certified by the county clerk. Under Texas election law, the clerk accepts and counts mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day and received by Nov. 4 if they were sent from inside the U.S. or Nov. 9 if they were sent from outside the U.S.
Czajkoski faces incumbent Toby Powell, who died Sept. 12 due to complications related to cancer. Powell was elected as mayor in 2016, and his name remains posthumously on the ballot. Czjakoski was elected to council Place 5 in May 2018, and his term was set to expire in May 2022.
Czjakoski has garnered 13,005 votes from early voting, and Powell has received 10,267. If Powell were to win, a special election would need to be called. Community Impact Newspaper has been unable to determine the cost of a special election or when it might be held, as of publication time. Community members, including Powell's wife Vanessa Powell, have been actively campaigning for his posthumous re-election.
The mayoral race, as well as the other City Council races, had originally been slated for May, but council members voted to push them to the November general election due to the pandemic. Czjakoski filed for candidacy Feb. 14, the last day to file for a place on the ballot. When Czjakoski filed for the mayoral race, it opened his place up for a special election; however, because this race is part of a general election, it did not incur the city additional costs, city officials said.
Yancey leads the race for Place 1 as of 7:55 p.m. with 14,042 votes. Incumbent Duane Ham and Brandon Polk have garnered 2,701 and 3,573, respectively. Ham was elected to Place 1 in June 2016.
Election Q&A's with the candidates can be viewed here.
Maddux leads the race for Place 2 as of 7:55 p.m., garnering 10,034 votes. Opponent Carl White has 9,190 votes. The position is currently held by Seth Gibson, who is not running for re-election.
For Q&A's with the candidates, click here.
Inman has garnered the most votes for Place 5, based off early-voting totals, with 5,824 votes. Clarence Lewis Jr. has 1,468 votes; Frank Jackson has 4,077 votes; Frances McDougal has 2,083 votes; Keith Armstrong has 1,815 votes; and Marsha Porter has 4,474 votes.
The race for Place 5 opened up after Czjakoski, who currently holds the place, filed for candidacy for the mayoral race. Both races were originally slated for May but were pushed to November due to the pandemic.
Election Q&A's with the candidates can be found here.
Visit communityimpact.com/voter-guide/election-results to see results from all local elections in your community.