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Election wrapup: New Braunfels

The tubers won a victory yesterday as the recall effort against New Braunfels City Council member Ken Valentine was a success.

Voters turned District 6 Councilman Ken Valentine out of office Saturday in a successful recall effort spurred largely by anger over Valentine’s advocacy of strict new rules for tourists floating the Comal and Guadalupe rivers.

“I’m disappointed in the result,” Valentine said. “Over the last few years, I’ve served District 6 with but one objective, to make New Braunfels a better place to live and work. But the voters have spoken. So be it.”

[…]

The recall effort was failing by 50 votes when the early votes were tallied. But the voters in favor of the recall turned out in force on Saturday, carrying the election day vote by a margin of more than 2-to-1.

“I was really kind of surprised, since I was ahead by 50 on early voting,” Valentine said. “It was a phenomenal switch.”

Valentine was the council’s leading proponent of controversial rules aimed at taming the rowdy, drunken behavior that has bothered riverfront residents for years.

He helped persuade a majority of the council to ban Jell-O shots and beer bongs, adopt one of the country’s strictest noise ordinances and prohibit alcohol in riverfront parks.

But the measure that caused the biggest backlash limited the size of coolers allowed on the rivers.

Recall proponents said Valentine was preoccupied with river issues and did not pay enough attention to other city problems. And they criticized his style on the council as too confrontational.

Valentine had said he would strongly consider running for the seat again in November if he lost the recall. But on Saturday night, he said he needs to think about it.

“It’s a shame there has been so much emotion and acrimony over tubing rules,” Valentine said. “It’s just incredible.”

The final tally, which you can see here, was 508 for the recall, and 438 against. My congratulations to the folks at Keep NBNB for their triumph.

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