Local elections in one North Texas county have attracted crowds of contenders, giving voters a choice of multiple candidates competing in key city council races.

In Collin County’s four largest cities—Allen, Frisco, McKinney, and Plano—every council seat on the May ballot is contested. Each incumbent faces at least one challenger, and as many as six candidates have filed to run for open seats.

City councils serve as local legislative bodies, prescribing rules and regulations for citizens. Council members set residents’ property taxes and decide how to spend the taxes and fees they collect to fund city services and infrastructure such as public safety (police and fire), parks, roads, municipal facilities, and city staff. Councils are responsible for their city’s water, sewer, and utilities, as well as for setting land use standards and approving development projects.

The filing period for the nominally nonpartisan local races ended on February 12.


Allen City Council races attracted 16 candidates for three positions—two open due to term limits, and one held by a first-term Democrat who riled residents by proposing a ban on gun shows at the city-owned event center.

Place 3 Councilmember Lauren Doherty faces four challengers: Dave Cornette, Joey Herald, Joseph Jackson, and Kenneth Wineburg Jr.

Six candidates are competing for the open Place 1 seat: Daren Meis, Nathan Polsky, Malcom J. Wilkinson, Dwight Burns, Christopher Gaspard, and Andre Hines. Councilmember Kurt Kizer was unable to run again due to term limits adopted by Allen voters in 2019. Members are limited to two consecutive three-year terms and a total of 12 years on council.

The race for open Place 5 drew five competitors: Dave Shafer, Gilson Umunnakwe, Diane Martin, Philip Brewer, and Edson Mureeba. The incumbent, Mayor Pro Tem Gary Caplinger, was also term-limited out but resigned Wednesday following his arrest last week on child pornography charges.


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

Place 1 Councilmember John Keating faces challenger J.P. Schade.

Four candidates are vying for the open Place 3 seat: Angelia Pelham, Karen Cunningham, Jennifer White, and Sai Krishna. Incumbent Will Sowell, serving his third three-year term, is unable to run this year under the city’s term limits.


McKinney City Council races brought out 12 candidates for four spots, including two open seats and the mayor’s office.

First-term Mayor George Fuller faces two challengers: Tom Meredith and Jimmy Stewart.

Five candidates are running to fill the District 1 seat formerly held by La’Shadion Shemwell, who was recalled in November: Justin Beller, Johnny Moore, Stan Penn, Thomas Tolan, and Cris Treviño.

For the open District 3 seat, Gere’ Feltus and Vicente Torres are running to replace Councilmember Scott Elliott.

At Large Place 1 Councilmember Charlie Philips faces challenger Brian Magnuson.

McKinney’s mayor and council members serve four-year terms; council members must take a year off after two consecutive terms except to run for mayor.


Plano City Council voters will choose from among 11 candidates for four council seats.

Place 2 Councilmember Anthony Ricciardelli faces a challenge from Steve Lavine.

Place 4 Councilmember Kayci Prince drew three challengers: Justin Adcock, Nassat Parveen, and Vidal Quintanilla.

Place 8 Councilmember Rick Smith faces Elisa Klein.

Three candidates are competing to replace term-limited Mayor Harry LaRosiliere: Councilmember Lily Bao, John Muns, and Lydia Ortega.

Bao resigned her Place 7 seat to run for mayor, and a special election to fill her unexpired term will also be held May 1. The candidate filing deadline for that race is March 1.

Plano council members are limited to two consecutive four-year terms. All places are elected at large.

In addition to city council contests, school board elections are also on local ballots in May, and voters in Collin County’s largest independent school districts will also have choices.

Every trustee race is contested in Allen ISD, McKinney ISD, and Plano ISD. One incumbent is unopposed in Frisco ISD.

Check with city, school district, or county elections offices to find out what candidates are on your local ballot.

Early voting starts on April 19. Election Day is May 1.

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.