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In the most closely-watched race in the Brazos Valley, College Station businessman Ron Gay scored a large victory over incumbent Robert Wareing in the race for the Place 3 seat on the city council.
The final vote totals showed Gay with 2,275 votes, or 65 percent of voters who turned out in the city. Wareing tallied 1,217 votes.
The race was marked by a perceived "business versus the arts" aura, with Wareing accusing Gay of being a too much on the side of local business, and Gay accusing Wareing of focusing too much on the arts.
"When you see these types of election results and the course the council had been taking with the amount of taxpayer money they had been spending, this was a definite wakeup call to the council to reprioritize our spending and to look at core services, things like roads, police, and fire protection," Gay said live on KBTX Saturday night.
When asked about his beliefs about overspending on the arts, Gay said, "I think that was one of the issues that came up in the campaign, the fact that there was an awful lot of taxpayer money going towards a single, non-profit organization that happened to represent the arts. I think once we go back and reprioritize our core services, if there's money left over, and if we don't have to raise taxes, then we can spend some money on arts."
Wareing said he wouldn't change a thing about his campaign.
"I'm proud of the campaign that I ran," he said Saturday night. "I ran a positive campaign. I worked very hard for the citizens of College Station for the past two years, and I'm going to continue to do so."
Early Saturday morning, there were allegations of more campaign signs being stolen, but this time, campaign workers for Gay say they witnessed someone who was with Wareing and arts council director P. David Romei take a campaign sign.
Kelly Templin says he witnessed a convoy of people drive up to campaign signs about 2 AM, people that included a camouflaged Wareing. Templin said one in the group stole the sign.
"It's incredibly disappointing," Templin said. "I felt like I was watching a bunch of ninth graders carry out a prank. The only thing I'd say about it is that it was incredibly disappointing to watch a seated councilperson and a president of a financial institution -- the executive director of the arts council and a council candidate -- carry out these types of actions. It was sophomoric, and that's probably generous."
Templin has filed a police report about the incident.
When asked about the allegations Saturday night, Wareing said he had no comment.
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