Southerland secures council seat in expensive race

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - There were two races for seats on Bryan's city council.

The race for Single Member District 4 was an expensive one. As of October, the race accounted for nearly a third of all election spending.

Tuesday night, incumbent Mike Southerland defeated Mitch Morehead to retain the seat he has held since 2014.

"I'm dedicated to Bryan. I am dedicated to them, and it's only because of them and their hard work that I got put back in, because there was so much money spent against me that it took their work to get it done. I didn't do that by myself. I would like to say that I won, but I didn't win. The people are the ones that worked hard to get me in... I am looking forward to working for everybody. I want everyone united, and I want to continue my work that I have done for so many people in town.” said Southerland.

Earlier this year, Southerland's Bryan New Directions PAC attempted to add several city charter amendments to tonight's election, but failed to gain necessary petition signatures or support to appear on the ballot.

Southerland also congratulated his opponent, saying, "I appreciate the campaign that Mitch Morehead ran. It was very close.”

Single Member District 3 was a one-man race. Greg Owens keeps his seat on the council. News 3 reached out to Owens for an interview. He said he was home tending to an injury and couldn't speak on camera. Instead, he released a statement:

I have been honored to serve the citizens of SMD #3 for the past 5 years as their Bryan City Councilman, and it has been an honor to serve the citizens of Bryan as their Mayor Pro Tem for the past 2 years. I am very proud of the progress we are making city wide and especially proud of the progress on the East Side of Bryan. While serving on the Bryan City Council we have never increased the property tax rate and I vow to maintain or lower that rate the next 3 years. I will continue to work to expand our tax base with new and expanding businesses in order to maintain or lower that rate. I will work to continue improving and expanding our park systems to enhance the quality of life in Bryan. While Traffic is becoming an issue on the east side and as the Representative on the Metropolitan Planning Organization, I will work with the City and the Texas Department of Transportation to improve and expand our transportation infrastructure. I will continue to support our Police, Fire and City staff who are the biggest assets we have at the city. With so much planned on the horizon for the city and the east side of Bryan, it will be an exciting next 3 years. Again thank you for the privilege to serve.