An enthusiastic crowd of conservative voters filled the Plano City Council chamber Wednesday night to witness the swearing-in of two new council members they helped elect.

With the support of the city’s conservative grassroots and Republican activists, Anthony Ricciardelli and Rick Smith were elected to Plano’s city council in a contentious June 10 runoff. Supporters were eager to cheer on their newly elected representatives as they took the oath of office and gave the two several standing ovations.

Ricciardelli won the Place 2 council seat over Texas Democrat Party endorsee Ann Bacchus, while Smith bested establishment Republican incumbent David Downs for Place 8. Both of the defeated candidates had the backing of a PAC funded by Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere’s special-interest developer donors.

Ricciardelli and Smith ran as challengers to the city’s political establishment and the mayor’s controversial high-density development plan, with a unified message of “keeping Plano suburban.”

The two also campaigned on principles of transparency and accountability, and as strong fiscal conservatives, earning the endorsement of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility.

Addressing the celebratory crowd following their swearing in, both councilmen thanked their families and acknowledged their many supporters in the room and the voters who elected them.

Smith added a reminder that many politicians seem to forget: “We work for you.”

Ricciardelli and Smith also cast their first votes as council members – for new Mayor Pro Tem Rick Grady and Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Ron Kelley.

Plano residents will continue to monitor the city council’s actions closely in anticipation of improvements in governance these new conservative voices will bring to the council and the city.


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.