Two allies of the Plano mayor won seats on the City Council in the May 4 elections, while two others that the mayor endorsed will head to runoffs against candidates endorsed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
Council Member Rick Grady defeated challenger Colleen Aguilar-Epstein on his way to re-election. Attorney Maria Tu won with more than half the vote in a three-person race. Both winning candidates were endorsed by Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere.
But even though election day is over, voters aren’t done shaping the direction of the Plano City Council.
Sitting Council Member Ron Kelley will face challenger Shelby Williams in a runoff race in June after leading the field in May 4 voting but falling short of the number of votes needed to win outright. The incumbent council member is endorsed by LaRosiliere, while Williams is supported by Abbott.
Meanwhile, former Plano mayoral candidate Lily Bao, who was also endorsed by the governor, will face LaRosiliere’s preferred candidate Ann Bacchus in a June runoff. Bao received 47% of the vote to Bacchus’ 36%.
The results of Saturday’s election ensure the Plano council’s preferences on development and budget issues remain in the air through the June runoffs.
Tu and Grady will join LaRosiliere and Council Member Kayci Prince as the group that generally supports the city’s longstanding development direction. If Williams and Bao are to win their respective runoff races, they would likely join Council Members Anthony Ricciardelli and Rick Smith as vocal skeptics of dense apartment development.
A four-four split on the eight-member council would be enough to deny zoning changes for apartments and affect decisions on the city’s tax rate and other budget issues.
Bao and Williams, the recipients of a rare endorsement for local office by Texas’ Republican governor, have campaigned on limiting property tax growth in Plano.
LaRosiliere played an active role in this year’s elections, endorsing a slate of candidates in each race and contributing thousands of dollars from his campaign to candidates and political action committees.