Celebrating another victory for local grassroots over outside special interests, conservative activists once again filled the Plano City Council chamber to witness the swearing-in of the two new council members they helped elect in contentious runoff races.

Shelby Williams and Lily Bao took their oaths of office Tuesday night surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd of local conservative grassroots and Republican activists who supported their election. Williams won Place 5 over incumbent Ron Kelley and Bao bested Ann Bacchus for Place 7 in high-turnout runoff elections held June 8.

“Thank you for everything!” Williams said Tuesday in an acknowledgement to supporters. “I will strive daily to give all the people of Plano a greater voice in our city!”

“You did it!” Bao thanked a packed room of supporters at an event following the inauguration.

Williams and Bao campaigned on responsible growth that maintains Plano’s current suburban identity and doesn’t overtax residents or give special deals to developers at the expense of residents. Both of the defeated candidates had the backing of a PAC funded by Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere and outside high-density developers.

Nearly two years ago to the day, two other citizen-backed city council members—Anthony Ricciardelli (Place 2) and Rick Smith (Place 8)—took their oaths of office before a similar cheering crowd after winning runoff races. Ricciardelli and Smith also ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility, transparency and accountability, and keeping Plano’s suburban character as the city grows.

Following last night’s swearing-in ceremonies, the council elected Smith and Ricciardelli as Mayor Pro Tem and Deputy Mayor Pro Tem.

Outgoing Place 7 council member Tom Harrison, who did not seek re-election this year, was recognized for his service to the city.

Plano City Council now has a 4-4 balance, a positive change for residents who want a check on the city’s recent runaway property taxes and high-density development.

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.