March 5, 2020
Temple Daily Telegram | By Shane Monaco
Residents of East and South Temple will now have three more years of their city representatives after the City Council election was canceled Thursday.
A municipal election will still be held in Temple on May 2 for Temple Health Bioscience District board seats and to determine the fate of the city’s $33 million parks and trails bond.
The Temple City Council unanimously voted Thursday to cancel the election for the City Council District 2 and District 3 seats after there were no challengers to the two incumbents. This means Mayor pro tem Judy Morales and Council member Susan Long have won their re-election bids.
This will be Morales’ fourth term representing East Temple’s District 2, and Long’s second term representing South Temple’s District 3.
Morales, who cannot run for the Council seat the next time because of term limits, said that she was happy about winning re-election and noted that this was the first year she did not have a challenger.
“I am excited, thankful, humble, and I love the opportunity to serve our community,” Morales said.
“Especially right now, with so many good things happening in the downtown area and District 2, I can just see a lot of involvement with our community and neighbors. I try to listen and to make sure that we are not forgotten.”
Morales, who was first elected in May 2011, resigned in March 2014 under pressure from other Council members. She pleaded no contest on April 9, 2014, to a charge of destruction or alteration of public records – a Class B misdemeanor.
In a special election in July 2014, Morales won back her seat with 63 percent of the vote. Morales didn’t seek re-election in 2017 until the only candidate withdrew from the race. She won a special election for the seat.
Long uncontested again
Long was elected in an uncontested race to the City Council in 2017, taking over for outgoing Mayor pro tem Perry Cloud.
Long said that she had mixed feeling about winning an uncontested race this year. She said she was happy about not having to campaign, but wished voters still had a chance to vote.
She said she values the accountability officials are held to when they are challenged in races instead of not having someone to compete against.
“I am very grateful to not have to spend the energy and the effort, and to ask people for money and to campaign for me,” Long said. “On the other hand, competition is really healthy. It is the foundation of democracy and it makes people answer questions for the public, and it is a shame not to have that.”