Tarrant County voters ousted at least one Tarrant Regional Water District board member and signed off on plans to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to build new schools and facilities.
At the same time, at least two local races — for Keller’s mayor and a Haltom City council member — are heading to runoff elections.
In Keller, three candidates split the vote so that no candidate drew 50 percent, plus one vote, forcing a June 10 runoff.
Former Mayor Pat McGrail — ousted in 2014 by Mark Mathews, the current and retiring mayor — claimed a razor-thin lead, with 49.86 percent, over current Place 6 City Councilman Rick Barnes, who drew 48.58 percent of the vote. Kris Jara, a private investigator, picked up 1.56 percent of the vote, according to unofficial Tarrant County election results.
“I was not expecting a runoff,” Barnes said. “I thought we had a great campaign and I was really looking forward to serving Keller as its mayor. I’m optimistic as we move forward toward a runoff.”
McGrail posted on Facebook that he’s “looking forward to a recount in the next few days.”
And in Haltom City, a five-way race for an unexpired city council seat heads to a runoff between Ricky Brown, who led with 35.8 percent, and Linda “Lin” Thompson, who followed with 30 percent.
In that race, Willis O’dell trailed with 17 percent, Troy Dunn claimed 12 percent and Carolina De Leon picked up 5 percent. To have avoided a runoff, one candidate has to claim 50 percent of the vote plus one more vote.
Here’s a look at other area races, according to unofficial local election results.
Tarrant Regional Water District
As for the Tarrant Regional Water District, it was clear that the Fort Worth-based board would gain new leadership, since longtime President Victor W. Henderson is retiring after 32 years on the board.
But the board also gains another new member, since incumbent Mary Kelleher didn’t win her re-election bid.
Newcomer Leah King claimed 28.5 percent, followed by newcomer James Hill with 23.3 percent and incumbent Jack Stevens with 22.4 percent. Kelleher drew 14.4 percent and newcomer Andra Beatty claimed 11.3 percent.
“Looks like the good old boys won again but we gave it a great try,” Kelleher posted on Facebook late Saturday. “Together, we managed to make some positive change at TRWD. I hope the incoming board members will continue where I left off. Thank you for all of your support over the last 4 years and during this election. And thanks to my team for working so passionately for me.”
The top three vote-getters will be elected to office.
City and school races
There were mayoral, school board and city council races in more than two dozen local communities.
Euless chose to re-elect Mayor Linda Martin, who drew 83.6 percent of the vote to Tupou Helu Uhalafe’s 16.3 percent. Uhalafe was hoping to become the city’s first Tongan mayor.
In the Mansfield school board election, there will be a runoff election between the top two vote getters in the race to replace Daniel Gallagher. That means Darrell Sneed, who claimed 37.9 percent of the vote,and Jessica Camacho, who claimed 14.7 percent of the vote, will face off in a June 10 runoff election. A look at the support other candidates received: Breton Hawkins, 8.6 percent; William Carl Lindstrom, 3.8 percent; Scott Marburger, 8.5 percent; Houston Mitchell, 7.2 percent; Joshua Spare, 10.5 percent; Samer Yacoub, 2.1 percent; and Troy Washington, 6 percent.
In Burleson, Mayor Ken Shetter won his re-election bid over challengers Katherine Reading and John Garrison.
At least three school bond packages in Tarrant County were approved by voters:
▪ A $208 million bond package for the Carroll school district to build a new performance hall at Carroll Senior High School, improve the Aquatics Center and build other facilities drew 63.7 percent support.
“This bond should allow us to make changes, improvements and upgrades affecting every campus and every student in the district,” Carroll Board President Christopher Archer said, noting that bond elections can help cover technology and long-term maintenance items that won’t fit in the limited operating budget.
▪ A $399 million bond package for the Northwest school district to build three large elementary schools, replace Haslet Elementary and expand classroom space and eight campuses claimed 61 percent support from Tarrant County voters.
“Thank you to our community for their continued support of our school district,” Northwest Superintendent Ryder Warren said. “This result shows the fast growth NISD is experiencing and will continue to experience is understood by our community.”
▪ And a $275 million bond package for the Mansfield school district to build and renovate school buildings picked up 65 percent support.
Tarrant County College
In the battle for District 3, former state Rep. Diane Patrick, R-Arlington, was elected with 67.8 percent of the vote to the 32.2 percent claimed by challenger Sean Hayward of Arlington, a consultant. Patrick was appointed to fill District 3 on the board last year when Kristin Vandergriff vacated the seat.
Staff writers Mark David Smith and Sandra Engelland contributed to this report.