UPDATE: Challenger Molina defeats Allen; Mitchell and Mott keep seats in Pflugerville ISD races

Candidates are running for seats on Places 3, 4 and 5 within the Pflugerville ISD board of trustees as part of the May 7 general election. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Candidates are running for seats on Places 3, 4 and 5 within the Pflugerville ISD board of trustees as part of the May 7 general election. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Candidates are running for seats on Places 3, 4 and 5 within the Pflugerville ISD board of trustees as part of the May 7 general election. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Updated at 11:21 p.m.

Pflugerville ISD Place 3 incumbent Renae Mitchell and Place 4 incumbent Vernagene Mott held their positions in the May 7 election.

Newcomer Alissa Molina also defeated Place 5 incumbent Brian Allen in an unofficial count.

At last count, Molina had 55.08%, or 3,096 votes, to Allen's 2,525.

Additionally, Mitchell defeated opponent Pat McCord with 62.5%, or 3,529 votes, and Mott won against challenger Corbin Black with 63%, or 3,557 votes.


Molina and Mitchell were not able to be reached at press time, but Mott said she is grateful to the voters, and there are many issues and challenges for the PfISD board to focus on coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a budget shortfall and declining enrollment.

"Academics has to be a priority so we can keep moving forward," Mott said. "The budget with state funding is a challenge. We have to diligently attract and retain teachers so we can keep moving [forward with] students' learning. We have to have our community come together to support our schools. I’m hoping volunteers will come back ... and can work in unity together."

Updated at 9:01 p.m.

Pflugerville ISD Place 3 incumbent Renae Mitchell and Place 4 incumbent Vernagene Mott still hold substantial leads over their opponents, but Place 5 challenger Alissa Molina has run ahead of incumbent Brian Allen at last count with 51.85%, or 1,894 votes, to Allen's 1,759 votes.

After the 9 p.m. update from Travis and Williamson counties, Mitchell still leads opponent Pat McCord with 60.69%, or 2,206 votes to 1,429 in the race for Place 3.

Mott also holds her lead with 65.54% of the vote for Place 4, or 2,410 votes to challenger Corbin Black's 1,267 votes.

Original story

Early voting results for the May 7 Pflugerville ISD election have incumbents Renae Mitchell, Vernagene Mott and Brian Allen in the lead for Places 3, 4 and 5 within the school board, respectively.

Mitchell leads her opponent, Pat McCord, with 1,947 votes to 1,343; Mott is ahead of candidate Corbin Black with 2,217 votes to 1,113, and Allen is barely in front of challenger Alissa Molina by two votes—1,657 to 1,655.

For Place 3, Mitchell, who is an educational trainer and coach for the Texas Education Agency, said her top priorities if re-elected include students’ mental health and wellness, getting students back to school, tackling learning loss due to COVID-19 and teacher retention.

McCord, a Navy veteran and tech consultant, said the challenges of COVID-19 and virtual learning have necessitated a clear needs evaluation to determine whether students are on track and learning at the grade level expected. He also said he would focus on staff retention.

In Place 4, Mott said her 18 years working with the PfISD school board qualifies her to keep her seat with the district. Her top priorities include a focus on district financial operations, community support and continued improvement of educational programs.

Black said one of his top priorities is to support teachers and students in addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. A software engineer, Black said his professional background gives him a unique perspective regarding how education needs to adapt with evolving technology.

In Place 5, Allen, who has more than 25 years of experience teaching, coaching and mentoring, said if re-elected to Place 5, he will focus on academic achievement, recruiting and retaining highly skilled and experienced educators. Allen said he will also manage tax dollars efficiently while maintaining program quality and managing state funding.

Molina, a former Austin ISD teacher, said if elected to Place 5 her top priorities will be to create a robust PfISD response to the extensive learning gaps incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She said she will also focus on supporting teachers and staff as their professional demands continue to increase.

The results are not final until they are canvassed by Travis and Williamson county voting officials. Find all local election numbers for races and ballot initiatives here.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018. From there he became a dual-market editor for Community Impact's New Braunfels and San Marcos-Buda-Kyle editions. Brian is now a senior editor for the company's flagship papers, the Round Rock and Pflugerville-Hutto editions.