Heading into the May 1 election, there were four names on the ballot for the District 1 McKinney City Council position. No single candidate managed to get more than 50% of the vote during the election, so the two highest vote-getters, Justin Beller and Stan Penn, were set to head into a runoff election June 5. Beller had picked up 40.8% of the votes, and Penn had collected 32.3%.
However, Penn announced on Facebook on May 6 that he was withdrawing from the election due to negativity on social media.
“I’m not a politician,” he said. “I honestly wish that I’d never done this. There’s just a lot of ugliness and hatred.”
In its meeting, McKinney City Council first called for a runoff election for June 5.
“The election code is clear; we need to actually establish that we have these two candidates that were first and second vote-getters in that regular election, so by doing so, then you will address the withdrawal that we've received,” City Attorney Mark Houser said.
The next item in the meeting was to cancel the runoff election, acknowledging the withdrawal of Penn from the race and recognizing Beller as the winner.
“We did receive a certificate of withdrawal,” City Secretary Empress Drane said. “The city has accepted that, and by state law when two candidates are running for runoff and one withdraws, the remaining candidate is determined the elected winner of that campaign.”
Council Member Scott Elliott pointed out that Penn turned in his withdrawal less than three days past the canvassing of the election results, which allowed the city to cancel the runoff election.
“I also just want to point out that Mr. Beller received over 40% of the vote in a four-person race, and that is a significant and substantial number of votes for a four-person race, so I commend him for that,” Mayor George Fuller said.
Beller thanked the other three candidates who were running for the seat in a May 8 post on Facebook.
“Johnny Moore, Cris Trevino and Stan Penn were all willing to pursue this same path and engage the city and the process,” he said in the post. “They all worked hard, and I know they want good things for McKinney. I look forward to continuing to hear from them about what they see and hope for in our place. And I am honored to represent our beloved District 1.”
Visit communityimpact.com for more results from the May 1 election.