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Snoddy, Carpenter win Longview City Council races

District 2 Longview City Councilwoman Nona Snoddy will retain her seat for another three years, while District 1 will see Temple “Tem” Carpenter III take office this month.

Unofficial election results released Saturday by the city of Longview show that Carpenter and Snoddy each won in their respective districts by a wide margin.

In District 1, Carpenter received 134 votes, or 69.43% of all ballots cast. Challenger Jeremiah Hunter received 54 votes, or 27.98%, and John Sims received 5 votes, or 2.59%. Sims had withdrawn from the race, but his name remained on the ballot.

Carpenter will succeed incumbent District 1 Councilman Ed Moore, who did not seek re-election. Moore has served District 1, which encompasses much of the Pine Tree area, for six years.

“I’m glad we got to this point. It’s been just a really interesting trip from the announcement to now,” Carpenter said Saturday evening. “I’m just happy to be there and look forward to working with the other members of the council and moving our city forward.”

Carpenter works as a commercial sales representative at McCoy’s Building Supply. He is a member of the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission and previously was chairman of the building standards commission.

He said Saturday that throughout the campaign process, he has been looking across all of the city’s departments and looks forward to helping move projects forward.

In District 2, which encompasses a portion of South Longview, Snoddy received 241 votes, or 76.27% of all ballots cast. Challenger Marisa R. Ward received 75 votes, or 23.73%.

Snoddy has served the city’s southwest district for six years. Her re-election Saturday will mark the beginning of her third and final term of office. The city of Longview has term limits for its City Council. Each council member and the mayor may serve a maximum of three three-year terms of office.

Born and raised in Longview, Snoddy graduated from Longview High School in 1978 along with Mayor Andy Mack. She holds a bachelor of science from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University-Commerce). She is a longtime special education teacher in Longview ISD.

On Saturday evening, Snoddy said she looks forward to continuing the work in her district.

“I’m definitely excited. It helps me understand what God has planned for me,” she said. “I’m excited to be able to serve the citizens of Longview and the residents of District 2 for another three years. I think we have a great start, and we look forward to doing greater things. I also want to give a huge shout out to the residents of District 2 for coming out and supporting me in such a big way.”

The city’s election results are considered unofficial until the Longview City Council canvasses the results. A date has not been set to canvass results.

Rare air: BMX event brings legends of sport to Longview skatepark
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Justin Erickson never believed he’d meet his idol — BMX legend Mat Hoffman. But on Saturday, his dream became a reality when more than 300 BMX riders, including Hoffman, attended a first-of-its-kind event at Longview’s skatepark.

“They say you should never meet your heroes, but ... that’s actually probably not true because he’s a pretty cool dude,” Erickson said after visiting with Hoffman and getting his autograph. “I have been riding BMX for almost 30 years, and I never imagined that I would meet Mat Hoffman right here in our little town.”

Dodson Action Sports Complex at Ingram Park was host Saturday to the Legends League BMX Jam. The event attracted professional BMXers from across the country to the city, along with a crowd that included about 300 spectators. Hoffman served as a judge for the event.

“We might get to see some people create some history in our sport today with some first-time variations and tricks,” Hoffman said. “This was a really cool idea and concept that they came up with.”

The reason so many professional BMXers came to Longview this weekend is simple: The city’s skatepark is “exceptional,” Hoffman said.

The facility was designed by Morgan Wade, a professional BMX rider who also participated in Saturday’s event. Wade designed the wooden skatepark’s ramps and inclines to serve riders of all skill levels, but it features a design that professional BMXers can truly appreciate.

“It’s amazing how people just love this park,” said Brian Dodson, who led a fundraising effort to build the park and for whom the complex is named. “I know to the normal person it’s hard to understand — to them this is just a skatepark. But you don’t know how awesome this park is unless you know the BMX or skate game. It is one of a kind. People literally drove 20 hours to ride in this event.”

The Legends League BMX Jam was open to all skill levels, but the event was geared toward professional riders. It drew such names as Wade, Cory Berglar and Matty Cranmer along with Hoffman, whom Dodson described as “the Tony Hawk of BMX.”

New Jersey-based professional BMX rider Scotty Cranmer, who holds nine X Games BMX Park medals, hosted the event and streamed it to his YouTube channel, which has 1.7 million subscribers. Cranmer is the brother of Matty Cranmer.

Jayden Mucha, 18, of Rochester, New York, said he was drawn to the jam after hearing about it from Scotty Cranmer.

“There is no better feeling than floating high above the quarter pipe or box jump,” said Mucha, who has been riding since kindergarten. “This park is absolutely incredible. It’s really hard to find a wooden skate park, and this one is just built absolutely perfect.”

For Erickson, the opportunity to see riders such as Hoffman was priceless. He described the event as putting Longview “on the map” in the BMX community.

“Brian Dodson and the city working together to get us a legitimate park is really cool,” Erickson said. “It’s just nice to see this vibe and this scene that I have been chasing for years, that’s grown and died off over the years. It’s cool to have it all back here like this. It’s a real good vibe.”

Germanwala wins Place 3 seat on Longview ISD board
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Dr. Samir Germanwala has defeated Tiffany Angus for the Place 3 seat on the Longview ISD school board.

Germanwala, a Longview Regional Medical Center cardiologist, received 261 votes compared with 134 for Angus, a social worker. The seat was left vacant by Chris Mack in November.

“I am honored to be given the opportunity to represent Dstrict 3 in the Longview Independent School District,” Germanwala said in a statement. “It has been a humbling experience to meet the families of our district during this campaign, and I look forward to representing those families in the upcoming years.”

Germanwala previously spoke with the News-Journal about how he would help the board achieve its equity goals for students in the district.

He said as the son of an immigrant, he cares about making sure the district holds a standard of equity in everything it does.

“I think having all sorts of programs whether vocational, dual-credit — where they can graduate with an associate degree — or those who want to go to the Ivy League and do International Baccalaureate,” Germanwala said. “If we could have a career preparatory class so students of the lower socio-economic class can have guidance or mentorship programs, it would help.”

His family has helped students in the district through the nonprofit Simple Bare Necessities, which his daughter Arya started and the family has worked together on. The organization collects hygiene products and creates packs to go home with students who would be able not afford them otherwise.

On Saturday, Germanwala reiterated two of his campaign promises: open communication and transparency.

“Again, I want to maintain open communication and transparency with my constituents,” he said. “And I hope to be able to serve the district with the goal of always keeping the interests of our students first.”

Seidel wins Place 2 on Pine Tree ISD school board
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Drew Seidel has served Pine Tree in different roles, and now he will serve it as a school board member.

Seidel defeated Rob Woods by a vote of 327-72 on Saturday for the Place 2 seat on the school board. Adam Graves also was up for reelection at Pine Tree, but ran unopposed, and will keep his seat.

Seidel is vice president of distribution for AEP Southwestern Electric Power Co. and has two daughters at Pine Tree High School and a son who graduated from the district. He also is president of the booster club.

“I’m excited and looking forward to the opportunity to support Pine Tree in a different role,” he said. “I’m excited to be able to make a difference in another way.”

Most of his experience at Pine Tree has been at the high school level, he said. Serving on the board will give him a chance to learn about the district at all levels.

“My primary focus is to make sure we do what’s best for students, but we do it in a way that helps our community be successful and grow,” Seidel said. “That’s what I promise to do, is study the issues and be engaged and be involved and try to do what’s best for everybody.”