Voters in Dallas and San Antonio sent their respective mayoral races to runoffs while Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price won an unprecedented fifth term. Saturday’s local elections were generally kind to incumbents and the status quo as voter turnout, euphorically high in November, crashed back to normal, mostly single-digit levels.
In Dallas, Rep. Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) and council member Scott Griggs emerged from a competitive nine-person field with 20% and 18% of the vote, respectively. Just over 80K people voted as countywide turnout was just under 10% of registered voters. Council member Kevin Felder missed the D7 runoff, finishing fourth with 15% of the vote. He received fewer than 600 votes. Adam Bazaldua faces former council member Tiffinni Young in that runoff. Incumbent D4 and D14 council members Carolyn King Arnold (46%) and Philip Kingston (40%) were forced into runoffs against Dawn Blair (22%) and David Blewett (48%), respectively. In addition to those three seats, a runoff will decide open D9, where Paula Blackmon (37%) faces Erin Moore (32%). The city’s highest profile council race saw D13 incumbent Jennifer Staubach Gates easily defeat former Mayor Laura Miller, 66%-34%.
San Antonio voters sent their incumbent mayor to a runoff for the third straight election cycle. Mayor Ron Nirenberg (49%), who missed winning outright by 1,360 votes, faces council member Greg Brockhouse (46%). Countywide turnout was just over 11%. All seven incumbent council members on the ballot prevailed, including John Courage in D9, who won the rematch against conservative Patrick Von Dohlen, 54%-41%. D2 open will be decided in a runoff between former council member Keith Toney (27%) and Jada Andrews-Sullivan (21%). D4 open will be decided in a runoff between Adriana Rocha Garcia (47%) and Johnny Arredondo (21%). D6 open ended in a runoff between Melissa Havrda (47%) and Andy Greene (35%).
Elsewhere in Bexar Co., former Rep. Tomas Uresti’s (D-San Antonio) bid to return to the Harlandale ISD board was unsuccessful. He lost to Elaine Anaya-Ortiz, 53%-47%.
Fort Worth voters re-elected Price and the entire city council. Turnout was 9%. In Arlington, Mayor Jeff Williams was re-elected with 59% of the vote. Incumbent D3 council member Roxanne Thalman lost to Marvin Sutton. Turnout was 9%. In Denton, voters re-elected incumbents Keely Briggs, Gerald Hudspeth and John Ryan, and Jesse Davis won open D3 outright. In Plano, Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) endorsed candidates, Shelby Williams (44%) and Lily Bao (47%), advanced to runoffs against D5 incumbent Ron Kelley (46%) and Ann Bacchus (36%) in D7, respectively.
Other highlights from around the state:
Abilene: Incumbent P5 council member Kyle McAlister (48%) was forced into a runoff against Cory Clements (41%).
Amarillo: Mayor Ginger Nelson was re-elected with 64% of the vote, and all four incumbent council members were re-elected.
Beaumont: Mayor Becky Ames (56%) was re-elected. W2 incumbent Michael Getz and W3 incumbent Audwin Samuel were re-elected, while W1 incumbent Virginia Jordan was forced into a runoff.
Brownsville: Mayor Tony Martinez (27%) failed to make the runoff, ending his eight-year tenure. Trey Mendez (41%), a Texas Southmost College board member, will face Charlie Cabler (32%), the former city manager. D2 incumbent Jessica Tetreau-Kalifa won a three-way race outright with 51%, while former Mayor Pat Ahumada finished third with 22% of the vote. D1 incumbent Ricardo Longoria (31%) was forced into a runoff against Nurith Galonsky (35%).
Cedar Park: Incumbent P5 council member Heather Jefts ended Saturday night with a one-vote lead over Rodney Robinson.
Katy: Mayor Chuck Brawner was defeated by Bill Hastings, the former police chief.
McAllen: D5 incumbent John Ingram ended Satuday night one vote short of winning re-election outright. Four provisional ballots have not yet been counted, and they will only be counted if the voter resolves whatever issue caused their ballot to be provisional. Unless these ballots or a recount changes the result, Ingram would face Seby Haddad in the runoff.
Pasadena: All of the incumbent council members were re-elected except for Felipe Villarreal, who lost to former council member Ornaldo Ybarra.
Port Arthur: Mayor Derrick Freeman (35%) was forced into a runoff against Thurman Bartie (25%).
Tyler: Frequent Congressional candidate Shirley McKeller (43%) advanced to a D3 runoff against Pamela Phoenix (31%). McKeller has lost the last four general elections to U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler).
Victoria: Rawley McCoy won the open mayoral race outright with 51% of the vote.
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