6 takeaways from the City Council elections

Mayor Mike Rawlings congratulates Adam McGough Saturday night
Mayor Mike Rawlings congratulates Adam McGough Saturday night: Photo by Lynn Davenport.

Making sense of election results can send anyone’s head spinning, but here are a few things that stand out after Saturday’s City Council contest in which Adam McGough was elected to follow Jerry Allen at City Hall:

1) The race was close. McGough won by just 35 votes. Paul Reyes has not yet announced whether he plans to ask for a recount.

2) Turnout was strong. Heavy participation in a single-issue election is rare, and a jump in turnout for a runoff is rarer still. About 12.5 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in May (5723 voters), and 13.0 percent voted (5963 voters) in June.

3) James White’s endorsement of McGough was a game changer. In the May election, Paul Reyes got 41 percent, followed by McGough with 36 percent and White with 23 percent. When no one passed the 50 percent mark and White left the race, White endorsed McGough and his voters followed.

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4) The north end of Lake Highlands made the difference. White won eight precincts in May and he campaigned heavily for McGough in June. His pull was especially evident in Hamilton Park and north of LBJ (Woodbridge and Whispering Hills) where he (then McGough) won handily.

5) Citizens who cast votes at Northlake, White Rock or Lake Highlands Elementary (or would have if they hadn’t voted early) mean business. Balloters in this section of Lake Highlands voted in large numbers (32 percent, 29 percent and 21 percent respectively in the runoff). Together, these 3 precincts (out of 30 total) made up 30 percent of total Lake Highlands voters. (They chose Reyes 57-43).

6) The community – and the councilman – are ready to move on. On Flag Day Sunday, Boy Scouts traveled around the neighborhood installing American Flags while homeowners pulled up stakes on campaigns signs in their yards.

“Finally, I can start working on doing good things in the community instead of talking about it,” McGough told me.

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