General News

Live updates: Jim Ross leads in early election results in Arlington mayor race

Attorney and business owner Jim Ross secured an early lead in the Arlington mayoral race, with pastor and former councilmember Michael Glaspie trailing behind in the crowded contest.

As of 7 p.m., with no voting centers reporting, Ross lead with 50.8% of the votes, followed by Glaspie, with 20.8% of the vote. Retired air traffic controller and District 3 Councilmember Marvin Sutton received 14.34% of votes businessowner Kelly Bure received 6.54% of the vote, programmer Dewayne Washington received 4.34% of the vote and independent salesperson Doni Anthony received 1.35% of the vote. Cirilo “CJ” Ocampo Jr. received less than 1% of votes.

The winner of the seven-person mayoral race — down from eight after the city secretary’s office declared Jerry Warden ineligible for office due to felony convictions — will succeed Mayor Jeff Williams, who cannot run again under term limits. If no candidates receive over half of the vote, the top two contenders will advance to a June 1 runoff.

Saturday marks the end of a crowded race, the first since 2003 in the city without an incumbent. Campaign messaging has focused on Arlington’s coronavirus recovery, boosting small businesses and supporting neighborhood development.

The range of candidates, especially the mix of familiar names in city hall and local businesses, makes for a likely runoff, UT Arlington associate political science professor Brent Boyea told the Star-Telegram in a previous interview. Sutton ran for mayor instead of a second term representing southeast Arlington on council, and Glaspie decided to run after the term limits voters approved in 2018 boxed him out of another term as District 8 councilmember.

Candidates with name recognition, Boyea said, could hold their own in an election where they have been largely outspent by Ross, who runs a law firm and owns Mercury Chophouse. Eight-day filing reports showed Ross spent over $100,000 from campaign contributions. The former Arlington police officer and Marine has campaigned largely on keeping the city’s momentum on economic development by helping small businesses recover, supporting law enforcement and seeking solutions for traffic woes. He kicked off his campaign in November with backing from several well-known local names, including Williams and former Mayor Richard Greene, and garnered support from all four local police associations.

Ross has also spent time while campaigning trying to shake off his perceived status as the “establishment candidate” who will keep the status quo. Several of his opponents have asked for residents’ votes to change the city’s direction. Ross also led the charge to convince the city to declare talent purchasing agent Jerry Warden ineligible for previous felony convictions that had not been pardoned.

Burke, who owns KRB Fitness and Apparel and co-owns Mrs. Burke’s Christian Academy, has campaigned on halting property tax increases, giving residents more say in tax-funded projects, improving local education and creating family friendly attractions. Washington, a programmer and pastor, has centered much of his campaign on addressing city debts caused by large projects, as well as reducing crime through community initiatives. Anthony, an independent salesperson, has focused her campaign on upholding Constitutional freedoms by relaxing regulations on local businesses, upholding free speech.

Sutton, a retired air traffic controller who ran for various city offices before winning his first Council election in 2019, has campaigned on access to local government, creation of a citizen review board overseeing Arlington police and finding transportation solutions that work for the city. Glaspie, a minister, has campaigned on improving public safety and health, as well as stimulating the local economy and improving education opportunities.

Aside from a Facebook page asking for support, GIS employee Cirilo “CJ” Ocampo Jr. did not visibly campaign outside of sharing a petition for his candidacy.

The candidate pool comprised familiar business owners, community figures, city leaders and political newcomers. Former Arlington Star-Telegram and Citizen-Journal publisher O.K. Carter said in February the race was one of the most diverse he has seen.