ARLINGTON — Arlington voters selected two new City Council members in Saturday’s runoff election.
Robert Shepard, an attorney and former planning and zoning commissioner, soundly defeated Vera McKissic, a minister and community activist. Shepard received 65.2 percent compared to McKissic’s 34.8 percent in unofficial results for the District 6 at-large seat. At-large council members represent the entire city.
Shepard, 49, said he is ready to get to work.
“Myself and my team spent a lot of time doing grass-roots work, telephoning and talking with people one-on-one in the last two weeks,” Shepard said. “That’s what got the message out.”
In the at-large District 7 race, Jimmy Bennett, a community activist and certified public accountant, had a significant lead over challenger Michael Glaspie.
Bennett received 55.4 percent of the vote while Glaspie, a former school board trustee and minister, received 44.6 percent.
“I’m greatly honored by the voice of the people and feel tremendously humbled by this and look forward to serving the citizens to the best of my ability,” said Bennett, 47.
Both Bennett and Shepard were endorsed by the Arlington Police Association and Arlington Professional Firefighters Association. Randle Meadows, the police association president, said the two conservative candidates best mirrored officers’ concerns about how recent economic developments, such as the new Dallas Cowboys stadium, will affect the city’s public safety needs.
“We believe there are some really major events on the horizon,” Meadows said. “We also believe there are some labor issues on the table.”
Mayor Robert Cluck said Saturday that he plans to take the two new council members out to lunch to explain the basics of the job. They will also get a special briefing on the more than $100 million in proposed projects that will go before voters in the November bond election, Cluck said.
Cluck said he was impressed with voter turnout.
In the May election, 10,400 ballots were cast while 7,813 ballots were cast in the runoff. Arlington has 186,612 registered voters.
The Arlington City Council will officially certify the votes from the runoff during its 6:30 p.m. meeting on June 24 at City Hall. The oath of office for the new council members will follow.
Arlington City Council
At-large District 6
Robert Shepard: 65.2 percent
Vera McKissic: 34.8 percent
At-large District 7
Jimmy Bennett: 55.4 percent
Michael Glaspie: 44.6 percent
Alderman Place 2
Guy Snodgrass: 59.5 percent
Cathy Stein: 40.5 percent
Source: Tarrant County