Shenandoah residents support Wheeler, Raymaker for mayor, City Council Position 1

Early votes are counted for State Senate District 24 primary election runoff.

Early votes are counted for State Senate District 24 primary election runoff.

Updated 8:45 p.m.

Ritchey Wheeler and Ron Raymaker won their elections for Shenandoah mayor and City Council Position 1 on May 7, respectively, according to unofficial results.

In a close race, Wheeler garnered 235 total votes, or 52.11 percent, while incumbent mayor Garry Watts received 216 total votes, or 47.89 percent.

"I appreciate the service that Mayor Watts has given previously," Wheeler said. "I'm just really looking forward to getting my turn to serve the city. I'm ready to get to work."

Wheeler said he is most looking forward to continuing Shenandoah's responsible economic development and maintaining the city's small-town feel.

In the Position 1 race, Raymaker received 186 total votes, or 42.96 percent, while incumbent Gary Henson received 178 total votes, or 41.11 percent. Challenger Mark Hendon received 69 total votes, or 15.94 percent.

"I'm looking forward to having utilities underground," Raymaker said. "It's a big project. We have to plan for it [and] we have to save for that, but it's something that's not just words anymore."

All results are unofficial until canvassed.

Posted 8:02 p.m.

Unofficial early results from the May 7 Shenandoah City Council elections show Ritchey Wheeler and Ron Raymaker have taken early leads for mayor and council member Position 1, respectively.

Wheeler has garnered 190 early votes, or 54.91 percent so far, while opponent Garry Watts has earned 156 votes, or 45.09 percent.

If elected, Wheeler said he would focus on responsible economic development in Shenandoah while maintaining the city’s small-town feel. He plans to thoroughly check on what companies are hoping to develop in the area as well as seek out developers he feels should be looking to develop in Shenandoah.

Watts said he would continue to focus on planning for future growth in the housing, retail and health care markets if elected while ensuring water rates and property taxes remain affordable. He also plans to continue protecting citizens and their homes from retail and commercial encroachment.

Raymaker has received the most votes in the Position 1 race with 158 votes, or 48.02 percent, according to early voting results. Incumbent Gary Henson has received 117 votes, or 35.56 percent, while challenger Mark Hendon has received 54 votes, or 16.41 percent.

If elected, Raymaker said he wants to develop a strategic plan for the city. He plans to lower the city’s debt, use taxpayer dollars more responsibly and improve community outreach efforts to keep residents up to date on the latest Shenandoah news and events.

Henson said he plans to continue maintaining the quality of life Shenandoah residents are accustomed to by ensuring excellent police and fire services and keeping tax and utility rates affordable if re-elected. Henson plans to combat water, mobility and public safety concerns by continually monitoring water usage, providing top-notch police department training and coming up with solutions to traffic problems.

Hendon said, if elected, he hopes to make city spending more transparent to residents and use budget funds more wisely. He plans to focus on the safety of residents while the city continues to grow.

All results are unofficial until canvassed.

By Beth Marshall
Born and raised in Montgomery County, Beth Marshall graduated from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in communication and a minor in business. Originally hired as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in 2016, she became editor of the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition in October 2017.


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