UPDATE 9:34 p.m.: With 99.49% of votes counted, Robert Rizo is far ahead of other candidates in the Kyle City Council special election with 301 votes, or 51.81%. Stuart Kirkwood is in a distant second with 173 votes, or 29.78%, followed by Cody DeSalvo with 56 votes, or 9.64%, and Michelle Carey with 51 votes, or 8.78%.
Original post: Unofficial election results for Kyle City Council Place 3, with 12 of 13 precincts reporting, show Robert Rizo leading with 194 votes votes, or 50.39%.
Stuart Kirkwood is next with 116 votes, or 30.13%, followed by Michelle Carey with 42 votes, or 10.91%, and Cody DeSalvo with 33 votes, or 8.57%.
With 4 candidates, the race has been widely expected to go to a runoff election, which will be triggered if no candidate has more than 50% of ballots cast.
All election results are unofficial until canvassed.
The race for Place 3 is a special election that was called after now-former City Council Member Shane Arabie resigned unexpectedly in the middle of a meeting Feb. 5.
The surprise special election is a challenge for the city. The Place 3 term expires this year and was set to go on the ballot in November, but because a special election must be called within 120 days of a resignation and held on a uniform election date, according to the city charter, in order to meet the 120-day requirement, City Council had to put Arabie’s seat on the ballot in May and pay for the entire election out of its general fund.
Kyle had originally budgeted less than $20,000 for elections in 2019, and that was set aside for the November contest that will be held jointly with the county; an additional $21,074.90 from the general fund was budgeted for the May 4 special election.
“When Council Member Arabie resigned, we really didn’t have a choice—even though the November election filing starts in July,” Mayor Travis Mitchell told Community Impact Newspaper.