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Community leader Lily Bao is officially running for Plano City Council, Place 7. Bao, a successful small business owner and real estate professional, formally announced her candidacy on Thursday.

Bao said she emigrated to America in the early 1990s seeking the American dream.

“I love America, and came here for a better life for me and my family. America is the land of freedom and opportunity,” Bao said in a statement. “We are so blessed to live in the greatest city in the world in Plano, Texas, and we cherish this amazing place and the people here.”

Bao said lowering taxes, responsible economic development, and preserving Plano’s suburban feel are top issues that she will fight for as a member of city council.

“Plano is a special place, and there is no other city like it,” Bao said. “We are experiencing a tremendous amount of growth, and we must focus on responsible economic development, while striving to maintain the suburban nature of the city that attracted so many people to move here, including me and my family.”

She also pledged to promote transparency in the budgeting process, prioritize public safety, and work cooperatively with Plano’s school district.

“I will be transparent and accountable, and truly listen to our citizens and make sure their concerns are given a real voice,” she said. “After all, we serve the people and not the other way around.”

Bao currently serves on advisory boards for the Plano Housing Authority and Collin County Myers Park & Event Center, and has an active role on the Plano ISD Diversity Advisory Board, in addition to being a Parent-Teacher Association volunteer. She is a member of the Asian Real Estate Association of America and founder of the Asian Republican Club of North Texas.

In 2017, Bao ran a strong challenge to Mayor Harry LaRosiliere, earning 42 percent of the vote against the incumbent in a four-way race.

Two other candidates have filed to run for Place 7: Democrat Ann Bacchus, who lost a 2017 runoff for Plano City Council Place 2 to Anthony Ricciardelli, and former deputy city manager LaShon Ross. Incumbent Tom Harrison is retiring at the end of his current term.

“While Plano is a wonderful place to live, there are challenges that the city and our citizens will face in the future,” said Bao. “I am uniquely qualified to be a voice of the people and to step up and meet those challenges head on.”

Early voting begins April 22 for the May 4 municipal election.

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