Rattler Wins Recount In Hearne City Council Race

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HEARNE – The recount is complete and Councilman Marc Catalina still lost his seat by one vote.

Catalina originally lost Saturday’s election to Joyce Rattler, by one vote (509-508). A manual recount was conducted Wednesday. Robertson County Election Officials say the results of the recount show Catalina actually won by two votes (507-505).

But three provisional ballots were still outstanding. Those arrived Thursday afternoon. All three of the ballots were cast for Rattler. So she wins the runoff 508-507.

Catalina told KBTX while he knows there are a lot of people in Hearne who want him to continue on the council, he respects the outcome of the election.

“I served Hearne for 10 years and feel like I did the job to the best of my ability,” said Catalina.

The results are not official until the election is canvassed on Tuesday.

Two of Catalina’s fellow council members also lost their seats on Saturday. Lashunda White heavily defeated Place 2 Councilman Larry Welch with 58% of the vote. The 589 votes for White to 425 votes for Welch is by far the biggest margin of victory in the council races.

Matthew Gomez, the son of Hearne’s Mayor, was beat by challenger Hazel Embra. Embra received just 39 more votes (540-501) than Gomez. But it was enough to give her 52% of the votes and the Place 4 seat.

The polls closed five hours after Catalina, Gomez, Welch and the rest of the council voted unanimously to terminate Officer Stephen Stem.

Stem responded to a 911 call March 6 from Pearlie Golden’s nephew. She was upset about not being allowed to drive after failing a driver’s license renewal test. Roy Jones says when he wouldn’t give Golden her car keys, she went into the house and grabbed a .38 revolver. Jones then ran to the side of the house and called 911.

Stem ordered Golden to put the gun down, but Golden refused. Jones said Golden fired two shots gun into the ground. At that point, Robertson County District Attorney Coty Seigert said Stem fired four shots, hitting Golden twice, once in the right arm and once in the upper chest. Seigert says they cannot confirm, nor deny, whether Golden fired her gun before she was shot and killed.

The case will not likely be presented to a Robertson County Grand Jury for a couple of months.