While North Texas voters decided most local races in the May elections, five hotly contested council seats across three Collin County cities are still up for grabs in the June 5 runoffs.

Every city council seat on the May 1 ballot in Allen, Frisco, and Plano was contested.

The nominally nonpartisan elections were decidedly more partisan this year, with local Democrat and Republican parties endorsing candidates in multiple races.

In the 12 city and school board races across Collin County in which both parties endorsed, Republican-supported candidates won nine and Democrat-endorsed candidates took one. Two are in the runoffs.

Voter turnout in the May 1 local elections was about 15 percent countywide but varied by location. Runoffs usually have even lower turnout, so candidates have continued campaigning aggressively to get voters to the polls for these important races.

City councils serve as local legislative bodies, prescribing rules and regulations for citizens.

Council members set residents’ property taxes and decide how to spend taxpayers’ money to fund city services and infrastructure such as public safety (police and fire), parks, roads, municipal facilities, and city staff. Councils are responsible for setting land use standards and approving development projects.

Races for these key local positions were especially competitive this year.

Allen City Council: Place 3 and 5

Allen’s 2021 city council races attracted 15 candidates for three positions—two open due to term limits, and one held by an incumbent Democrat. Two races went to runoffs.

In the Place 3 runoff, Dave Cornette is challenging incumbent Lauren Doherty. Each drew about 40 percent of votes cast in the May 1 election:

  • Cornette’s endorsements include the Collin County Republican Party and Republican Party of Texas Chairman Allen West, Collin County Judge Chris Hill and Commissioner Darrell Hale, and conservative Indian-American political action committee US IMPACT. Third-place finisher and former Councilmember Joey Herald also endorsed Cornette in the runoff.
  • Doherty is endorsed by the Collin County Democrat Party, the Allen firefighters’ union, and Our Revolution Texas—a “progressive populist” organizing group aiming to “turn Texas blue.” She riled residents by proposing a ban on gun shows at the city-owned event center and stirred more controversy by joining Black Lives Matter protesters outside Allen City Hall.

Mudslinging about incidents from Cornette’s past cropped up on social media just days before the start of early voting on Monday.

In the race for the open Place 5 seat, Dave Shafer, founder of private investigation firm Preferred Intelligence, and Philip Brewer, vice president of Comerica Bank, are competing in the runoff:

  • Shafer’s endorsements include the Collin County GOP, Collin County Commissioner Darrell Hale, and US IMPACT.
  • Brewer, who touts bipartisan support for his nonpartisan campaign, was “recommended” by the Collin County Democrats and endorsed by the Allen firefighters’ union.

Cornette and Shafer—the “two Daves”—ran on a slate with fellow Republican Daren Meis. Meis won his six-way race for the open Place 1 seat over Democrat-endorsed Dwight Burns and was sworn in on May 11.

Frisco City Council: Place 3

Frisco City Council races drew six candidates for the two seats on the May 2021 ballot.

Dr. Jennifer White, a veterinarian, and Angelia Pelham, a former human resources executive who runs a leadership consulting business, are in a runoff for the open Place 3 seat:

  • White’s endorsements include the Collin County Republican Party, RPT Chairman Allen West, and SREC Committeewoman Jill Glover; Frisco City Councilmembers Brian Livingston and Dan Stricklin; and the Denton County Conservative Coalition.
  • Pelham is endorsed by The Dallas Morning News, Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney, and Councilmembers John Keating and Bill Woodard.

White was the top finisher in the May 1 race with 37 percent of the vote—nearly 10 points ahead of Pelham. The mayor’s active involvement makes this runoff a high-stakes contest.

Keating defeated his Place 1 challenger. He was endorsed by Collin County Republicans.

Plano City Council: Place 4 and 7

A total of 16 candidates ran for five Plano City Council seats in May. Two races ended in runoffs.

Place 4 Councilmember Kayci Prince faces challenger Justin Adcock, an insurance account manager and small-business owner:

  • Adcock is endorsed by the Collin County GOP and RPT Chairman Allen West, DFWPAC, and the two other Place 4 challengers, Nassat Parveen and Vidal Quintanilla.
  • Prince is backed by Plano’s police and firefighters’ unions, Councilmember Maria Tu, and her former council colleague Ron Kelley, who was voted out of office after failing to support lower city property taxes.

For Place 7, political newcomers Julie Holmer and Chris Robertson are in a special runoff to fill the unexpired term of Lily Bao, who resigned to run for mayor:

  • Holmer is backed by the Collin County Democrats, Councilmember Rick Grady, and several former city officials.
  • Robertson is endorsed by the Collin County Republicans, RPT Chairman Allen West, and more than a dozen CCGOP precinct chairs, as well as the grassroots conservative group Plano Citizens’ Coalition.

Collin County GOP-endorsed Councilmembers Anthony Ricciardelli and Rick Smith were re-elected over Democrat-backed challengers, while Republican-backed Bao lost to Collin County Democrats’ “recommended” candidate John Muns.

Voting Information

Early voting in the local runoff races runs Monday, May 24, through Saturday, May 29, and Tuesday, June 1 (no voting Monday, May 31, due to the Memorial Day holiday).

Election Day is Saturday, June 5.

Eligible voters can cast ballots at any polling location in the county. Voting hours and locations are found on the Collin County Elections website.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.