By Ben Lane, TSB Staff
Despite less than four percent of McKinney’s registered voters turning out to the polls, Randy Pogue was able secure a runaway victory in a race for the open at-large seat on McKinney’s city council and will not be subjected to a runoff election.
Mayor Brian Loughmiller was also re-elected in a landslide over challenger Derrick Johnson, who pulled out of the race almost immediately after throwing his name into the ring. Loughmiller secured 2,497 of the 2,919 votes cast. His share amounted to 89.95% of the votes. Johnson received 279 votes (10.05%).
Pogue received 1,799 (63.82%) of the 2,919 total votes. Martin Sanchez finished second in the voting with 635 (22.53%). Jeremiah Hammer finished third with 385 votes (13.66%).
After the election results were announced, Pogue told TownSquareBuzz.com, “I’m obviously excited. … I’m thrilled with the opportunity to serve and look forward to that opportunity and I’ve learned and grown a lot through this process and I am very happy.”
Pogue said his first priority as councilman would be to “obviously just to get my feet on the ground.”
He added, “I think I’ve got a good foundation for that. I have an understanding of some of the city government. There are details of it that I don’t know, so I need to get involved in that and understand it, get more intricately involved with the city manager and the rest of the council and just be all on the same page moving forward.”
Pogue also recognized his family as his biggest supporters. “It’s a team effort in the overall scope of things,” he said.
“The ability to win outright in a three person race normally is not done easily without a run-off. And because of that the foundation of what we’ve done here as a family, I’m obviously a part of that – my whole family has been very involved and basically through that, that has set a foundation for which I was able to run off of,” he said.
“My kids are here, I live here, I work here, and I play here. I want to continue to make that as good of an environment as I can.”
After his re-election, Mayor Loughmiller told TSB that he was disappointed with the low turnout but expected it because Saturday elections in May normally see low turnout. He also said, “We have to get people more engaged and I think we’ll see that over the next couple of elections, because we have seats that are terming out.”
Loughmiller was very pleased with his re-election despite the low turnout numbers. “It feels great, you know,” he said. “I felt comfortable going in to tonight. I love serving the community. I love serving as mayor and I have four more years and then I’m done so I hope to make the best of it and make good things happen.”
A festive crowd gathered in McKinney’s town square to enjoy the spring weather and wait for the results to come in. County Commissioner Chris Hill announced the early voting totals just after 7 p.m. The early voting totals showed that neither of the contested races would be remotely close because of the dramatically low voter turnout numbers.
Early voting numbers showed Loughmiller with 1,711 votes to Johnson’s 182. Pogue had 1,252 votes from the early voting totals, Sanchez as 388 and Hammer had 261.
Commissioner Hill retook the stage at 8:45 p.m. to announce the results with 65% of the precincts reporting in. Those results showed that Loughmiller and Pogue would both be elected with ease. With 65% of the votes counted, Loughmiller had 2,157 votes to Johnson’s 232. Pogue had 1,552 votes to 546 for Sanchez and 322 for Hammer.
After that announcement, all of the candidates (minus Johnson, who did not attend the downtown election event) took the stage to thank their supporters and congratulate the presumed winners.
Loughmiller called it “a great night for the city of McKinney” and complimented all of the candidates who ran, saying “it’s important to have candidates willing to serve.”
Hammer told the crowd that the election had been “an amazing experience” for him and he thanked all of his supporters. Sanchez said “it was a great campaign that I enjoyed tremendously.”
Pogue recognized his campaign staff, specifically Robb Temple who worked “behind the scenes” to ensure Pogue’s election. Pogue said that the election had been “phenomenal” for him. He also complimented his family for their contributions to both his campaign and to the city of McKinney as well. Pogue called the experience of winning the election “humbling” and repeated his family’s credo of “learn, earn and return” as his reasons for running for city council.
Just after 9 p.m., Commissioner Hill retook the stage to announce the final totals and congratulate Loughmiller, Pogue, Councilman Travis Ussery and Councilman Don Day on their victories. Ussery and Day ran unopposed.
According to a City news release, the City Council will be canvassing the election on Monday, May 20 at 5:30 p.m. At this Special Meeting, the Mayor, Council member District 1, Council member District 3, and Council member At Large will be sworn in.
Don’t forget to check out Bryan Criswell’s TSB Image Gallery below for scenes from Saturday’s election gathering on the downtown square.