Geré Feltus will serve as McKinney’s first elected African American councilwoman after securing an electoral victory Saturday night.
Feltus garnered 51.77% or 2,888 votes in a City Council race against opponent Vicente Torres for the open Place 3 seat, according to unofficial results from Collin County. Torres won 48.23% or 2,691 votes.
Feltus said she felt her previous involvement in the city had played a role in why voters had chosen her. She has volunteered for years and served on an advisory council for McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley, she said, and she has also served on the city’s Economic Development Corporation.
“So I've gotten a chance to make some really good relationships, and I really think that is what made all the difference in this race,” she said.
Feltus’s designation as the first elected African American councilwoman in McKinney comes months after the City Council appointed Angela Richardson-Woods to the District 1 seat. Richardson-Woods, who was appointed after Councilman La’Shadion Shemwell was removed in a recall vote, is the first African American woman to serve on the McKinney City Council.
Feltus said she appreciated Richardson-Woods, who had been a mentor for her and provided great advice.
“We still live in a place where we have to be cognizant of the fact that we're still having firsts, and I would like to see us get out of that era where we're still having so many firsts, and I think she would like to see that as well,” Feltus said, “but she's been a wonderful, wonderful mentor.”
Richardson-Woods was appointed in December until a council member could be elected to the seat in a regular election. McKinney won’t know who its District 1 representative will be for a few weeks after none of the contenders in a four-person race earned a majority of the votes on May 1.
Justin Beller and Stan Penn will vie for the seat in a runoff election that will determine a winner. Beller won 40.79%, or 1,083 of the votes after securing a lead with early ballots. Penn garnered 32.32% or 858 of the votes, according to unofficial results from Collin County. Cris Treviño and Johnny Moore had also cast their names for the race.
The runoff election is slated for June 5 with early voting running from May 24-27.
Meanwhile, Incumbent Charlie Philips won his re-election bid for the At Large 1 seat after securing 11,408 votes or 60.05%. Challenger Brian Magnuson won just 39.95% of the votes.
Mayor George Fuller secured a re-election victory with 67.41% of the votes.
This article has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Charlie Philips's name.