Wichita Falls City Council Race May or May Not Go to Runoff
The Wichita Falls City Council District 5 race will head to a runoff-maybe.
The Wichita Falls City Council District 5 race will head to a runoff-or maybe not.
Incumbent District 5 councilman and Wichita Falls businessman Mitesh Desai finished third in the three-man race. Wichita Falls businessman Chris Reitsma came in second, but Reitsma had withdrawn from the race just 6 days after declaring his candidacy. Reitsma cited the reason was that his business model changed around the time he filed and, within days, his business skyrocketed. “I had to make a decision and decided I had to put my business first. This is how I support my family.”
Reitsma went on to say he didn’t merely want a title, he wanted to be able to dedicate himself to the job of serving his district and just didn’t feel he could meet that commitment with the positive changes in his business. But it was too late to remove his name from the ballot. Reitsma never purchased a single campaign sign and did no campaigning via social media, but still came in second in the race.
Steve Jackson, despite recent revelations about disparaging remarks made toward Councilman Desai and Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom (Jackson has since apologized for the remarks) held a substantial lead over his two opponents, but did not reach the 50 percent threshold required to be the declared winner. The vote count as of Wednesday afternoon had Jackson in the lead with 958 votes (49.25%); Reitsma in second place with 536 votes (27.56%); Desai in third place with 451 votes (23.19%).
Wichita Falls City Clerk Marie Balthrop tells News Talk 1290 that they must allow six days for a number of mail in ballots to arrive and be counted. Any of those ballots that arrive after the six-day deadline will not be counted. She says that even if after the mail in ballots are counted, if Jackson still fails to reach the 50 percent threshold and if Reitsma does in fact remove himself from the runoff, Jackson will be the declared winner, effectively eliminating the run-off election. The mail in ballots and final vote will be announced on November 13.