Lawyer and business owner Jim Ross quickly took the lead in the Arlington mayoral race, with pastor and former board member Michael Glaspie lagging behind in the crowded contest.
From 7 p.m., with no polling center report, Ross led with 50.8% of the vote, followed by Glaspie, with 20.8% of the vote. Retired Air Traffic Controller and District 3 Council Member Marvin Sutton got 14.34% of the vote, business owner Kelly Bure got 6.54% of the vote, programmer Dewayne Washington got got 4.34% of the vote and independent seller Doni Anthony got 1.35% of the vote. Cirilo “CJ” Ocampo Jr. received less than 1% of the vote.
The winner of the seven-person mayoral race – instead of eight after the city clerk’s office declared Jerry Warden ineligible due to felony convictions – will succeed Mayor Jeff Williams, who cannot run again under the term of office. If no candidate gets more than half of the votes, the top two candidates will qualify for a run-off on June 1.
Saturday marks the end of a crowded race, the first since 2003 in the city without a holder. Campaign messages focused on recovering from the Arlington coronavirus, boosting small businesses and supporting neighborhood development.
The range of candidates, especially the mix of household names from town hall and local businesses, is a possible run-off, Brent Boyea, associate professor of political science at UT Arlington, told the Star-Telegram during a previous interview. Sutton ran for mayor instead of a second term representing Southeast Arlington on council, and Glaspie decided to run after term limits approved by voters in 2018 excluded him from ” another term as a member of the District Council 8.
Candidates whose names are recognized, Boyea said, could hold their own elections in an election where they were heavily spent by Ross, who runs a law firm and owns Mercury Chophouse. Eight-day ranking reports showed Ross spent more than $ 100,000 on campaign contributions. The former Arlington and Marine Police Officer campaigned largely to keep the city’s momentum in economic development going by helping small businesses recover, supporting law enforcement and researching solutions to traffic problems. He launched his campaign in November with the support of several well-known local names, including Williams and former mayor Richard Greene, and garnered support from the four local police associations.
Ross has also spent time while campaigning to try to shake off his perceived status as an “establishment candidate” who will maintain the status quo. Several of his opponents demanded the vote of the inhabitants to change the direction of the city. Ross also led the charge to convince the city to declare talent buying agent Jerry Warden ineligible for previous felony convictions that had not been pardoned.
Burke, who owns KRB Fitness and Apparel and co-owner of Ms. Burke’s Christian Academy, has campaigned to end property tax increases, giving residents more voice in tax-funded projects, improving l local education and creating family attractions. Washington, a programmer and pastor, has focused much of his campaign on settling city debts caused by large projects, as well as reducing crime through community initiatives. Anthony, a freelance saleswoman, focused her campaign on upholding constitutional freedoms by relaxing regulations on local businesses, respecting freedom of speech.
Sutton, a retired air traffic controller who ran for various city offices before winning his first council election in 2019, campaigned for access to local government, creating a committee review of citizens overseeing Arlington Police and finding transportation solutions that work for the city. Glaspie, a minister, campaigned to improve public health and safety, as well as to stimulate the local economy and improve educational opportunities.
Aside from a Facebook page asking for support, Cirilo “CJ” Ocampo Jr., an employee of SIG, obviously did not campaign other than sharing a petition for his candidacy.
The pool of candidates included familiar business owners, community figures, city leaders and political newcomers. Former Arlington Star-Telegram and Citizen-Journal editor OK Carter said in February the race was one of the most diverse he had ever seen.