One vote now separates the two candidates competing for Place 4 in the Humble City Council runoff election which was held on December 13.
Paula Settle prevailed in the election by one vote over challenger Arliss Bentley, with all 63 voting centers reporting. The official count, canvassed at Humble City Hall on Saturday morning, December 19 with the Humble City Council in attendance, was Paula Settle 301 votes (50.08 percent) and Arliss Bentley, 300 votes (49.92 percent).
The Harris County Election Administrator’s Office counted any additional military overseas, provisional and mail ballots that were received by 7 pm on election night, then delivered the certified results on Friday evening to Humble City Secretary Jenny Page.
Bentley can petition for a recount but as the petitioner must pay a deposit. If the recount overturns the election, the City of Humble pays the costs. If not overturned, the petitioner loses the deposit and paysany additional expenses including supplies, worker salaries and fees, according to the Texas of State website.
Bentley has until Monday at 5 p.m. to submit a petition for a recount. As of Saturday evening, Dec. 19 neither candidate had submitted a petition for recount.
A canvass, which was held Saturday morning at Humble City Hall, is the official tally for the December 12 election, accounting for every ballot cast in person, by mail, provisional or military overseas, 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, Paula Settle and Arliss Bentley but the May 2 election was delayed when Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation in response to COVID-19 allowing the May 2 city election to be moved to November 3.
Results of the November 3 election were Arliss Bentley 42.69 percent of total votes, Bruce Davidson, 27.45 percent of total votes, and Paula Settle, 29,83 percent of total votes cast.
None of the three candidates received more than 50 percent of the total vote on November 3 requiring a runoff election on December 12 between Arliss Bentley and Paula Settle, the two candidates with the most votes. After the runoff election and prior to counting the mail, provisional and military overseas ballots, just two votes separated Settle and Bentleywith Settle receiving 291 votes and Bentley receiving 289 votes.
Paula Settlehas 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 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.
“I want to thank everyone who got out and voted in the runoff election, also my family and friends whoworked on my campaign,” Settle told The Tribune. “It was an honor to run against Arliss Bentley, a respected member of our community,
I hope to make Humble proud.”
“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.”