Garland native Lori Barnett Dodson was elected the city’s first female mayor in 30 years and only its second ever, winning a three-way race Saturday.
Among other local elections, voters in Denton ISD, Mesquite ISD and the cities of Carrollton and Fort Worth approved bond packages totaling well over $1.5 billion.
The resignation of Doug Athas as mayor forced Garland’s special election to fill a one-year term. Dodson, a 54-year-old investment manager who served three previous terms on the City Council, scored just over the majority needed to eliminate runner-up Louis Moore, 71, and Leala Green, 72, both of whom are retired.
Dodson follows Ruth Nicholson, who was the first female mayor.
“Honestly, it has been a fast and furious two months. I hadn’t thought about that. It’s been more about the issues and what sets me apart,” Dodson said. “It’s pretty cool. Pretty significant.”
Other mayors elected in contested races Saturday include Karen Hunt in Coppell, Chris Watts in Denton, Barry Gordon in Duncanville, Kelson Elam in Heath, Margo Goodwin in Highland Park, Rudy Durham in Lewisville, David Hillock in Little Elm, Keith Short in McLendon-Chisholm and Saji George in Sunnyvale.
No mayoral candidate held a majority in Lancaster — where six were vying for the city’s top post. Of four candidates in Flower Mound, Steve Dixon and Cathy Strathmann separated themselves from the field and were only a handful of votes apart, but neither had a majority of the vote.
Denton ISD voters approved $750.5 million for items including renovations to facilities, security systems, a technology complex and additions and renovations to fine arts and athletics facilities. The district hopes to use most of the money to build or replace 24 campuses.
Mesquite ISD voters approved $325 million for a career high school, the district’s 10th middle school, its 34th elementary school and other facilities.
Fort Worth voters approved all six bond propositions, totaling $400 million. The bulk, $261.6 million, is for streets, drainage and infrastructure. Other items include parks, libraries, fire and police facilities and animal services.
Carrollton residents approved $107 million in requests broken into three propositions — $78 million for streets, $22.4 million for parks and $6.3 million for public safety.
In Prosper, voters agreed to create two special districts and fund them with a half-cent of the sales-and-use tax already being collected.
Farther east, Royse City ISD voters approved $60 million, much of it for a middle school in fast-growing Fate. Rowlett approved $60 million for streets, public safety and parks. And Rockwall voters said yes to $85 million for streets.
Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD voters approved $199 million for campus and special education improvements plus technology upgrades.