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Bedford elects 19-year-old councilman

BEDFORD — College student Chris Brown, 19, defeated closed captioning editor Jim Wallace, 35, for the Place 6 City Council seat Saturday, according to complete but unofficial results.

Marketing consultant Raymond J. Champney, 67, who was running unopposed, will take the Place 4 seat.

The men will replace outgoing incumbents Charles Orean and Bob Whistler, who supported outsourcing management of the library and more lenient natural gas drilling restrictions than the council approved. The council often split 4-3 on such hot-button issues, with Orean and Whistler on the losing side.

Brown, a political science major at the University of North Texas, said he tried to meet as many people as he could, addressing issues such as economic development and the pending expansion of Airport Freeway.

He said his age also played a big factor.

"People were hesitant," he said. "But in the end, it was the factor that put me over the top. People wanted that new fresh perspective. ... I think the council is going to be a nicer chamber without the divisive attitudes of the past."

Voters overwhelmingly approved the city’s 33 charter amendments, which are mostly language changes to keep the charter current with state law.

About 6.6 percent of the city’s 31,473 registered voters participated in the election.

RESULTS

Place 6

Complete but unofficial results.

Chris Brown: 1,617 votes, 83.7%

Jim Wallace: 314 votes, 16.3%

Place 4

Raymond J. Champney was unopposed.

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