Early voting is in full swing, and a record number of Texans are turning out to vote, shattering records statewide.
In fact, 2020 may see its most massive voter turnout since 1908, when 65.7 percent, over half the United States’ population at the time, showed up to cast their ballots, according to the Brookings Institution, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit public policy organization.
This election season will see not only two presidential candidates battling it out but also city council members, county commissioners, and mayoral candidates in Allen. There is also the recall election of McKinney City Council member La'Shadion Shemwell. Here are a few of several races appearing on the ballot in Collin County:
Over in Precinct 1, Republican Susan Fletcher, the incumbent, is facing off against Democrat Courtney Brooks. Fletcher calls herself a "no-nonsense conservative" who believes in transparent, efficient, and accountable government. She also supports economic development. Brooks, on the other hand, claims she is running because she "believes that the County Commissioners can lead real reform to improve the services, economic upward mobility, and a path forward for all our residents."
Precinct 3 is a showdown between incumbent Darrell Hale, obviously a Republican, and Democrat challenger Dianne C. Mayo. Hale claims he is committed to term limits and creating efficiency in technology and county services. He also supports government transparency, and refraining from enacting an eminent domain order for future infrastructure or widening roads. Mayo, who spent some time with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, says her priorities include a focus on healthcare, police & community, LGBT issues, expanding affordable and environmentally conscious transportation options and public services, such as food pantry access, and conservation of public spaces.
For the first time in over two decades, Allen will be electing a new mayor after Mayor Steve Terrell stepped down in March before his term expired in May. Real estate agent Grace Chen, a 13-year resident, is facing off against former Mayor Pro Tem Ken Fulk, a 36-year resident. Chen’s first prerogative as mayor is safety, followed by economics and development, education, keeping taxes low for citizens. Fulk claims he wants to enhance quality of life for Allen residents by continuing to “focus on excellence in our public safety, parks and recreation, and Library services programs for all ages while seeking to develop partnerships with educational, community, and civic organizations.”
Two city council races are heating up this election go around. Seven Frisconians are running for Place 5 on Frisco’s City Council. They are Laura Rummel, Ruan Meintjes, Rob Cox, Josh Meek, Ram Majji, Dan Stricklin, and Hava Johnston. We'll have a deeper dive with the candidates in an upcoming Q&A post early next week.
McKinney is facing a recall election for the City Council District 1 seat currently held by La’Shadion Shemwell. Shemwell has been drawn into a recall election after more than 3,000 Collin County residents signed a petition to have him removed, coming shortly after Shemwell unsuccessfully proposed a “Black State of Emergency” proclamation in light of the recent racial unrest in the United States. To read more about the recall election, visit our deep dive into this issue: The Rise & Fall of La'Shadion Shemwell.
However, while the grievances seem to stack up overwhelmingly, Shemwell still pledges to fight for voices he feels are ignored or underrepresented. At least 12 percent of McKinney residents are black, while 65 percent are white. He told the Texas Tribune, “I can’t keep this seat alone. I didn’t get here alone. I wasn’t elected alone. So if the community wants me in, the community will stand up. If the community allows this to take place and allows their vote to be taken, then that’s on the community. And I’m OK.”