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Challengers win 2 seats in Houston runoff elections

Saturday, December 10, 2011
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A big change is on the way to Houston's city council.

Voters went back to the polls Saturday to decide four different races that went to runoff elections.

There was a big political upset in two districts where incumbents lost.

Starting with the District A race, incumbent Brenda Stardig fought to keep her seat against challenger Helena Brown, but Brown will be the new District A council member. She won the runoff with 55 percent of the vote while Stardig only received 45 percent.

Another incumbent in a tough runoff race was At-Large 5 incumbent Jolanda Jones who went against the same person she faced two years ago for her seat -- chiropractor Jack Christie.

Christie unseated Jones with 54 percent of the vote to Jones' 46 percent.

Stardig and Jones are the second and third incumbents to lose an election since term limits were imposed.

The race for outgoing member Sue Lovell's At-Large 2 seat has been whittled down from 10 candidates to two -- Pastor Andrew Burks and former state representative Kristi Thibaut. But it hasn't been decided which one will take the seat.

Just over 200 votes separate Burks and Thibaut. A recount is expected.

It's an even closer race in District B, where the candidates are trying to replace term-limited councilman Jarvis Johnson.

Nonprofit director Jerry Davis leads Johnson's aide Alvin Byrd by only 98 votes. A recount is likely.

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