Attorney Armin Mizani received nearly 56 percent of the votes cast Tuesday in the runoff election for Keller City Council Place 2, according to unofficial results from the Tarrant County Elections office.
His opponent, local business owner Christopher Whatley, received 44 percent of the 2,304 votes cast.
Mizani, who has lived in Keller for two and a half years, said he was “extremely humbled with the results.”
“I think people understood what our message was all about: Reducing property taxes and bringing out our (Keller’s) character,” Mizani said. “I want to thank the citizens of Keller for trusting me with this responsibility.”
Mizani, 27, said he and his wife, Kathy, wanted to move to Texas after he graduated from Michigan State University’s law school because of its growth and job opportunities. They were “very fortunate” to settle down in Keller, he said, and when their son, Aiden, was born seven months ago, he decided he wanted to get involved in the city government.
“I was already concerned with a lack of vision for the city,” he said. “I didn’t want to sit aside and let other people run the city, and I thought I could have a truly positive impact.”
Transparency, preserving Keller’s character, and promoting “responsible commercial development” locally are important for the city’s future, Mizani said.
“We’ve got to be proactive to keep local money here,” he said. “You want to preserve character but also recognize that we’ve got to do everything we can to bring in good business.”
Economic development is necessary so the city can “reduce dependency on the homeowner,” Mizani said, adding that the city will find a good balance to “preserve the unique feel” of Keller.
Whatley, a lifelong Tarrant County resident, and Mizani were the top two candidates after the Nov. 4 special election failed to produce a majority vote for any candidate, as required by the city charter. Whatley nearly won that election and received more than 1,000 more votes than Mizani did, but he didn’t reach 50 percent of the vote.
Of the more than 10,000 votes cast in the Nov. 4 election, Whatley received about 48 percent of the vote, Mizani had 37 percent and realtor Frank Roszell received 15 percent, according to certified results from Tarrant County.
The Council will canvass the election in a special meeting on Dec. 18.
Mizani, a former local precinct chair for the Republican party, replaces former Mayor Pro Tem Gary Reaves, who will step down before his seat expires for “significant professional opportunities.”
Mizani’s first council meeting is Jan. 9, will serve until May 2015, when the Council seat expires and will be up for re-election.