On Tuesday night, Collin County election numbers revealed that 72% of voters had elected to remove McKinney City Councilman La’Shadion Shemwell from office.
The election, a city-wide proposition to remove the councilman representing the city’s District 1, showed that 47,843 McKinney voters wanted the councilman out of his elected position.
“This is not the outcome we wanted, but one we fully expected,” Shemwell said in a statement.
In his statement, Shemwell accused the election’s city-wide status of being an effort to dilute the voices of minority voters.
McKinney Mayor George Fuller disagrees.
In a Wednesday interview, Fuller said that of McKinney District 1 voters who had cast a ballot for Proposition A, the recall item, over 66% voted to remove Shemwell from office. Fuller said 6,131 in District 1 voted to remove Shemwell while 3,156 District 1 residents voted to keep him in office.
Fuller said he had disengaged from the topic of the recall election in the months leading up to the vote. As a result, he said, he was surprised that results were as overwhelming as they turned out to be.
“I think at the end of the day, it came simply to (voters) did not feel they were being represented to the extent they feel they should be represented, and that's what that voice is,” Fuller said. “That's our voice. We all talk about it. Our voice is our vote. Well, their voice was loud and clear.”
Now that the results are in, the McKinney City Council is set to meet Friday morning to consider, discuss and act on certifying the results of its special election — including the decision to remove Shemwell from office.
In his statement, Shemwell said the city and city leaders could only “get rid” of him by “constantly mov(ing) goal posts” and changing the rules.
“I have stated from the beginning I would fight this illegal recall process in court, and that is what I will continue to do, not just for me but for every diluted voter and disenfranchised voice in this city,” Shemwell stated.
Fuller said the City Council will meet Tuesday to discuss appointing a new member to the empty seat.
“I feel it's very important to have representation from District 1, so we are going to appoint somebody,” he said, “and I believe council shares that feeling.”
Tuesday’s meeting will allow the City Council to discuss what the appointment process will look like, Fuller said.
“I imagine that we'll openly dialogue about how many people are we going to interview, if you will,” he said. “We'll certainly want to interview people.”
The interviewing process won’t be to focus on candidate positions, Fuller said, but on things like how long they have lived in District 1 and what they want to see happen in the district.
“I want somebody that's truly engaged,” Fuller said. “Not just in words and grandstanding to a small base. I want somebody that's really really concerned about the district and is working here and not worried about protesting in Dallas and D.C. I want them here. I want them here in McKinney worried about infrastructure, safety, jobs, health, medical for their district residents.”