Fort Worth

Flores wins in Fort Worth; three votes separate candidates for Arlington seat

Carlos Flores places a campaign sign at Ruffino Mendoza Elementary School.
Carlos Flores places a campaign sign at Ruffino Mendoza Elementary School.

City Council District 2 voters headed to the polls Saturday and elected Carlos Flores as their new representative, while voters in Keller narrowly returned former Mayor Pat McGrail to that city’s top elected spot.

And it was tight race in Arlington’s District 3 race that saw Roxanne Thalman defeat opponent Marvin Sutton by only three votes.

We knew it was going to be close. I wasn’t expecting three votes.

Roxanne Thalman, Arlington District 3 candidate

“We knew it was going to be close. I wasn’t expecting three votes,” Thalman said. “I was looking forward to it being over tonight, but we’ll have several more days before we have an official vote.”

Far fewer people voted in the runoff races Saturday than in the May general election. Voters were only casting ballots in 10 races in specific areas of the county. In all, only 14,200 ballots were cast, compared to 88,876 in May.

In unofficial results, Flores, an aerospace engineer, defeated Steve Thornton, a retired firefighter, 52 percent to 48 percent, with 97 votes separating them.

In the end, Flores said he ran his campaign on facts and the issues, and is what he attributes his victory to. He was also thankful to his campaign staff, who he said was “a wonderful, supportive and proactive team.”

This victory is not about me, but the representation we can get for our community, our district and city.

Carlos Flores, Fort Worth District 2 candidate

“I’m so pleased,” Flores said. But, he said, “This victory is not about me, but the representation we can get for our community, our district and city.”

Mayoral candidate, and former Keller Mayor, Pat McGrail speaks during an April campaign forum. Bob Booth Star-Telegram archives

In another hotly contested race, Keller residents returned McGrail as the city’s mayor. The 71-year-old retired airline executive lost his bid for mayor in 2014, but decided to run again this year. He defeated Rick Barnes, 51 percent to 49 percent, with 49 votes separating them.

“I hope we can all come together and work for the betterment of the community,” McGrail said. “I want to help us continue to move forward.”

Barnes thanked his supporters and all those who voted. He said he hadn’t decided whether he will seek a recount.

“I was impressed with the great turnout today,” Barnes said. Election officials reported that 4,237 ballots were cast.

McGrail was just six votes shy of getting elected in the general election. A recount gave McGrail 49.55 percent of the vote. Barnes didn’t run again for his Place 6 spot on the council to run against McGrail. A consultant, Barnes, 53, was elected to the council in 2014.

Outgoing mayor Mark Mathews, who survived a recall election in 2016, did not seek re-election.

In Place 6, Tag Green defeated Mitch Holmes, 53 percent to 47 percent.

In Fort Worth, Flores and Thornton were in a runoff race because none of the four candidates in the May election received more than 50 percent of the vote. Former candidates Jennifer Trevino and Tony Perez threw their support behind Flores, as did Councilman Sal Espino, who has held the council seat for six terms.

Thornton received the bulk of his support from the Fort Worth Firefighters Committee on Good Government, a political action committee. The group gave nearly $178,000 in cash and in-kind gifts to Thornton through the end of May, according to campaign finance reports. This is his second defeat for the office, having lost to Espino in 2015.

Voters headed to the polls in six cities to decide races that went into runoffs in the May 6 general election.

In the narrow Arlington District 3 race to replace Robert Rivera, who did not seek re-election, Thalman defeated Sutton, 50.08 percent to 49.92 percent. Both are political newcomers. Sutton could not be reached for comment.

And in District 5, incumbent Councilwoman Lana Wolff easily won re-election with 54 percent of the vote against opponent Dakota Loupe. Wolff has served on the council since 2003.

In other races:

▪  Haltom City City Council Place 6: Ricky Brown defeated Linda “Lin” Thompson 56 percent to 44 percent.

▪  Mansfield school board Place 6: Darrell Sneed, retired school administrator, received 70 percent of the vote to win over Jessica Camacho, a stay-at-home mother. The original field had nine candidates.

▪  Mansfield City Council Place 6: Terry M. Moore, a cardiovascular equipment salesman, defeated Mike Leyman, a retired police officer, 62 percent to 38 percent.

▪  Mansfield City Council Place 7: Incumbent and mayor pro tem Larry Broseh, a business owner, won over Emery Betts, a community organizer, 57 percent to 43 percent.

▪  River Oaks City Council Place 5: Dan Chisholm garnered 57 percent of the vote to defeat Sal Limas.

Staff writers Alice Murray, Sandra Engelland and Robert Cadwallader contributed to this report