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Local voters to have their say

Profile image for By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer
By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer

Election day is Saturday in city, school races

Denton County residents will head to the polls this week to elect mayors, council members and school trustees as well as consider bond packages and various propositions, including a new municipal development district.

Early voting for the nonpartisan election ends Tuesday and election day is Saturday.

Voters in Denton and a dozen other Denton County cities have at least one council seat up for grabs. Voters in Bartonville, Denton and Trophy Club have a mayor’s race, although Sanger and Pilot Point have uncontested mayoral races.

And several cities have sales tax propositions, most of them renewals of existing taxes, including renewing a sales tax for a crime control district in Corinth and for streets in Bartonville, Oak Point, Ponder, Dish and Trophy Club.

Dish has three propositions to initiate sales taxes, including one proposition that would also set up an economic development corporation. Aubrey voters will consider whether to authorize a municipal development district, which would allow the city to collect sales tax outside its corporate limits but within its extraterritorial jurisdiction.

The Denton school district canceled its election because none of its candidates drew opponents. But voters in the Argyle, Aubrey, Sanger, Little Elm, Lewisville and Northwest school districts have at least one contested seat, and Argyle has a $45 million bond package on the ballot.

Early voter turnout has been stronger this year than last year across the county, according to Frank Phillips, Denton County elections administrator. As of Friday afternoon, 6,245 people had cast early ballots, compared to 4,044 people after the first five full days of voting in 2012.

Argyle, Trophy Club and Frisco polling sites were leading the pack with the most ballots cast by Friday afternoon. Phillips said it appeared that the bond elections — $11.7 million for municipal facilities in Trophy Club, the $45 million for schools and athletic facilities in Argyle, and $775 million in Frisco for schools and support services and facilities — could be motivating voters to get to the polls. The Frisco school district straddles Denton and Collin counties.

Year-over-year comparisons are difficult for the May election, since there are often pockets of the county where there may not be any elections at all, Phillips said.

In the city of Denton, however, this year’s turnout appears to be on pace with the 2012 election, the last time the city had a mayoral race. As of Friday afternoon, 1,133 people had voted in the city’s election. At the end of the fifth day in 2012, 1,135 had cast ballots.

The May 10 elections are separate from the runoff elections stemming from the March 4 primaries. Voters will turn right back around and go the polls on May 27 for partisan local and state runoffs. Early voting for the primary runoffs begins May 19. Incumbent District Attorney Paul Johnson faces a challenge from Karen Alexander. The justices of the peace races for Precincts 4 and 5 also are in runoffs.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.