SNAPSHOT: First contested mayoral election in a decade sees 243% more voters; Tomball ISD turnout nearly doubles

Voting was held at locations throughout Montgomery County. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Voting was held at locations throughout Montgomery County. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)

Voting was held at locations throughout Montgomery County. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)

With record early voting turnout, local races in Tomball and Magnolia enjoyed greater support leading up to and during the Nov. 3 election than in previous years, according to unofficial election results from Harris and Montgomery counties.

In Magnolia, the mayoral election being pushed to align with the general election likely helped to increase turnout—the election, previously scheduled for May 2, was postponed to Nov. 3 at Gov. Greg Abbott’s recommendation amid the coronavirus pandemic. The city’s mayoral race was last contested over a decade ago, in May 2010, when Mayor Todd Kana won his first term against Connie Barrett with 158 votes to Barrett's 106, according to the Montgomery County Elections Office.


Once again contested in 2020, the mayoral race garnered a total of 906 votes for the Nov. 3 election, a 243% increase in voter turnout in the decade. Kana again won the election.

Voter turnout also soared to more than 30,000 votes total cast in Tomball ISD board of trustee elections, nearly double the number of votes cast for similar trustee positions in November 2016. Whereas the 2020 ballot included three contested trustee races, only one of three positions on the ballot in November 2016 was contested, according to election results from Harris and Montgomery counties. Before 2016, Positions 5, 6 and 7 were last contested in 2004, according to an analysis of Harris County election records.

In an emailed statement Nov. 4, Position 6 candidate Joseph Ferguson—who trailed in the three-way race with 24.94% of votes against opponent Ursula Gassaway and incumbent Justin Unser, who appears the likely winner—said he was encouraged by the great voter interest in the TISD races this time around.

“I'm very happy about the unprecedented level of voter interest and turnout in the 2020 Tomball ISD school board election. I remember a time in Tomball’s history when school board elections were canceled because the incumbents were running unopposed,” Ferguson wrote. “As a former social studies teacher, this year’s high level of civic engagement made this campaign worthwhile for me.”
By Anna Lotz

Editor, Tomball | Magnolia & Conroe | Montgomery

Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor for the Tomball|Magnolia edition. She began covering the communities of Conroe and Montgomery as well in 2020. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.



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