Bentley, Sethi among fresh faces to join Coppell Board of Trustees in season election

Coppell citizens gather at Town Center to vote in record turnout numbers


Kelly Wei

Coppell mayor Karen Hunt and School Board Place 2 candidate Manish Sethi exchange a hug after the early voting results were announced. At the end of the night, Sethi won the election with 68 percent of votes. Photo by Kelly Wei.

Kelly Wei, Art Editor, Entertainment Editor


Results for the Coppell Council, Board of Trustees and mayor from Saturday have been released.


Coppell voters elected Nichole Bentley and Manish Sethi to the Coppell ISD Board of Trustees, while also re-electing Tracy Fisher to the board. For Coppell Council in Place 6, a run off election between John Jun and Biju Mathew will take place on July 16.


Karen Hunt was re-elected as mayor once more, leading with 65 percent, followed by opponent Davin Bernstein at 35 percent.


For Place 6, Bentley received 61 percent for Place 6, while opponents Lynne Ryan followed with 24 percent and Dan Koller with 16 percent.


For place Place 7, Fisher claimed 63 percent, followed by Ron Hansen at 37 percent, while Sethi concluded the night with 68 percent and Balki Chamkura with 32 percent.


On Saturday, booths were set up outside the City Hall, where candidates in the running and volunteering supporters handed out business cards and flyers, speaking with local residents on their campaign goals and messages while others thanked and shook hands with those emerging from the building, having already voted.


Coppell Mayor Karen Hunt herself was present, mingling with crowds of an unprecedented size.


“We have had record turnouts so far,” Hunt said. “We’re expecting even more today. It’s a beautiful day.”


Indeed, this election season has broken records. By 5:30 p.m., more than 1,400 citizens had stopped by to vote and make their voices heard.


“[Turnout] has exceeded our expectations,” Coppell Council Place 6 candidate John Jun said. “That means people care about the community, issues, the people that are running. They care enough to come out and vote, and that’s something we can look forward to.”


Many citizens also understand the importance of this election and the effects results will have on their way of life.


“[The positions] of the people who are running have a direct impact on the daily life in our city and schools,” Coppell resident Megan Conoley said.


Among the many issues taking center stage, economic development and empowering the school district have become the most significant topics candidates were eager to tackle.


A resident of Coppell for nearly 11 years, Coppell Council Place 6 candidate Biju Mathew has made prosperity for citizens one of the most pressing issues to take the forefront of his campaign.


“I’ve been talking about a stronger Coppell, a safer Coppell, a smarter Coppell,” Mathew said. “Economic development and business prosperity. We want businesses in Coppell to general sales tax for us…so property taxes for residents will have some discounts.”


Place 2 candidate Manish Sethi is looking out for the school district and its staff.


“I’m all about teachers,” Sethi said. “We take care of teachers, teachers take care of our kids. We need to support them more and make sure certain projects [are executed] in a frugal and smart way. We can keep on improving our district.”


Residents found many of their own personal interests aligned with those of several candidates.


“My concerns are more to do with education, not so much in the beautification of the city,” Coppell citizen Rina Bhatia said, echoing Sethi’s own message. “The city already looks very pretty. I’d like some changes, some reform in the schools where teachers should get paid higher. That’s a constraint we’re having right now.”


Overall, the high voter turnout tells a great deal of the spirit and sense of civic responsibility present within the community.


“[I came out and voted] because I care for the community and who gets voted,” Bhatia said. “This is the time to exercise your rights.”

Results of the election may be viewed here.