Paula Settle – 291 votes and Arliss Bentley – 289 votes
Two votes separate the two candidates competing for Place 4 in the Humble City Council election Dec. 13.
With all 63 voting centers reporting, Paula Settle has won the election by two votes over challenger Arliss Bentley. The unofficial count is Settle 291 votes (50.17 percent) and Bentley, 289 votes (49.83 percent), according the to the Harris County Elections Administrator website, HarrisVotes.org.
The election is expected to be canvassed Dec. 21 or 22 when the results are declared official, according to Humble City Secretary Jenny Page, and, as of election night, Dec.12, a recount was still to be determined. A canvass is the official tally of votes for the Dec.12 election, accounting for every ballot cast and ensuring that every valid vote cast is included in the election totals.
This is the second time that Humble city voters have gone to the polls to select a council member for Place 4, the position held by Allen Steagall, who chose not to run.
Three candidates originally vied for Steagall’s position – Bruce Davidson, Settle and Bentley but the May 2 election was delayed when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation in response to COVID-19 allowing the May 2 city election to be moved to Nov. 3.
Results of the Nov. 3 election were Bentley 42.69 percent of total votes, Davidson, 27.45 percent of total votes, and Settle, 29,83 percent of total votes cast.
None of the three candidates received more than 50 percent of the total vote requiring a runoff election Dec. 12 between Bentley and Settle, the two candidates with the most votes.
Prior to the delayed May election, two unopposed candidates in the Humble City Council election were declared winners.
Norman Funderburk, incumbent for City Council Place 3, and David Ray Pierce, incumbent for City Council Place 5, were unopposed and declared winners, according to Page. They were sworn in prior to the May 14 city council meeting.
Settle has lived in Humble since 1967. She is a graduate of Humble High School. For the last 22 years, she has overseen the daily operations of Humble Machine Works, begun in 1974 by her father, Howell Bethune.
She is a member of the Humble Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star and a graduate of the Humble Police Academy Association and the Humble Citizens on Patrol.
In an earlier interview with The Tribune, Settle said her three top priorities were adequate police and fire protection, address the drainage problem and fix it, and beautify Humble with more flora and tress lost due to growth.
“We were fortunate to have three excellent candidates for Place 5 who care deeply for our city and our citizens,” Humble Mayor Merle Aaron told The Tribune. “It is time now to continue to focus on the needs and concerns of our city and our citizens.”