Lyle Nelson has clinched the Bastrop City Council Place 3 seat in the city’s first runoff election, according to unofficial results provided by the Bastrop County Elections Office.
Nelson garnered 361 votes (59 percent) in Saturday’s election, defeating his opponent, Lee Harle, who took home 248 votes (41 percent).
“I am ecstatic,” Nelson said Saturday night of his win. “I’m going to do what the people elected me to do: I’m going to represent them. It’s not about me, it’s about us.”
Nelson, 63, is the chief of staff at Capital Area Rural Transportation System, or CARTS, and has lived in Bastrop since 2009. A Hunters Crossing homeowner, he said he ran for City Council to promote greater transparency and open government on the council as well as represent residents from every corner of the city.
Harle, who owns the Bastrop River Company, narrowly led the race for the Place 3 seat in the general election in May. He was 37 votes ahead of Nelson at the time, pulling in 422 votes to Nelson’s 385. A third contender, signing agent Rachel Corbett, had taken home 171 votes. Since none of the candidates had a majority, Nelson and Harle, the top contenders, headed to a runoff.
It is the first in the city’s 185-year history.
The runoff drew a turnout of 609 voters, according to the elections office. That’s more than half of the 1,036 people who voted in the general election, which saw an unprecedented turnout of 25 percent of registered city voters.
The May election also made history when Connie Schroeder became the first woman mayor in Bastrop. Bill Ennis was elected to the Place 4 seat at the time, defeating Nancy Wood.
Nelson will replace outgoing City Council Member Kay McAnally, whose term expired in May. Official elections results are expected to be canvassed at the next council meeting on June 27.