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Dead man re-elected to Double Oak Town Council

A Double Oak council member's death didn't keep voters from re-electing him.

A total of 120 voters re-elected Mayor Pro Tem Steve Durbin, who died in March, to the Double Oak Town Council on Saturday. The Denton County town of about 3,000 is south of Denton between Bartonville and Flower Mound.

Steve DurbinCourtesy photo
Steve Durbin
Courtesy photo

Double Oak voters were asked to choose two of three candidates for seats on the council. According to unofficial election returns released by Denton County Elections Administration on Saturday, 45 percent of votes went to Scott Whisenhunt. Durbin, who garnered 27.9 percent, was elected to the second open seat, edging out Ara Minassian by three votes — 120-117. 

Durbin died suddenly March 19 at a local hospital. He was 66.

Frank Phillips, county elections administrator, said the votes for Durbin will still count, but according to the Texas Election Code, the mayor pro tem's death creates a vacancy on the council. He said Double Oak officials must decide whether to appoint someone to the council or call a special election to fill the vacant seat.

"The results are unofficial until canvassed," said Mike Donnelly, who ran unopposed in the mayoral race. "If Steve finished second, then council most likely will consider an appointment to fill the seat for one year, then the remaining year goes back up next May, as I think I understand it."