'The fight is not over': McKinney City Council member La'Shadion Shemwell plans to continue fighting after majority of voters choose recall

La'Shadion Shemwell is the first McKinney City Council member in the city's history to be recalled. (screenshot by Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)
La'Shadion Shemwell is the first McKinney City Council member in the city's history to be recalled. (screenshot by Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)

La'Shadion Shemwell is the first McKinney City Council member in the city's history to be recalled. (screenshot by Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)

Updated at 1:25 p.m. Nov. 4: This story has been updated to reflect the latest results along with a statement released by La'Shadion Shemwell.

McKinney City Council member La'Shadion Shemwell released a statement after a majority of voters in the Nov. 3 election were in favor of him being removed from office by recall, saying, "This is not the outcome we wanted, but one we fully expected."

With all precincts in Collin County reporting and the number of outstanding mail-in ballots not expected to change the outcome, Shemwell is the first McKinney City Council member in the city's history to be recalled.

Election results show the majority of McKinney voters ruled in favor of recalling Shemwell, who “made inflammatory statements about residents and staff,” according to a petition that triggered the recall election. More than 72%, or 47,843 McKinney residents, voted in favor of the recall. There were 18,440 votes cast against the recall.

Shemwell could not be reached for comment late Tuesday, but he pointed in his statement to his ongoing federal lawsuit against the city regarding its recall election changes.


In September, Shemwell and two other registered voters in his district filed a federal lawsuit, claiming the recall election is unconstitutional because it dilutes the votes of District 1 residents by allowing the entire city to vote in the recall election.

"I have stated from the beginning I would fight this illegal recall process in court, and that is what I will continue to do, not just for me but for every diluted voter and disenfranchised voice in this city," he said in his statement.

The recall election comes toward the end of Shemwell’s three-year council term, which expires in May 2021.

The proposition was originally planned to go before voters this past May, but that election was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Shemwell was elected to represent District 1, which stretches along the city’s east side, but the recall process in McKinney mandates voters citywide get to weigh in on his fate. This process was established in 2019 after 79% of city voters approved a proposition to allow all voters to participate in recall elections regardless of their address.

The city will need to canvass the election before the results become official. The city can do this once results are canvassed at the county level. County officials are saying that they won't be able to canvass until at least Nov. 9. Under Texas election law, the county clerk accepts and counts mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day and received by Nov. 4 if they were sent from inside the U.S. or Nov. 9 if they were sent from outside the U.S.

McKinney will issue a notice of the date and time that council will meet to canvass the election. That meeting notice will be posted 72 hours in advance online and on the meeting bulletin at City Hall.

Once the results are canvassed, City Council could choose to leave Shemwell's seat vacant or appoint someone else to fill it for the duration of the term, City Manager Paul Grimes said. Regardless of what happens, the seat will need to be filled come May 2021, when Shemwell’s term expires. Shemwell could also run again at that time to regain the seat.

Visit communityimpact.com/voter-guide/election-results to see results from all local elections in your community.
By Miranda Jaimes
Miranda has been in the North Texas area since she graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in 2014. She reported and did design for a daily newspaper in Grayson County before she transitioned to a managing editor role for three weekly newspapers in Collin County. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 covering Tarrant County news, and is now back in Collin County as the editor of the Frisco and McKinney editions.


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