City Council runoffs set for Saturday

Two seats in city of Waxahachie up for grabs in balloting

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light
An exterior view of Marvin Elementary School in Waxahachie.
Billie Wallace.
Paul Christenson.
Charles “Chuck” Beatty.
Travis Smith.

A pair of races for terms on the Waxahachie City Council will be decided on Saturday in a runoff election.

In the race for Place 4 on the City Council, Billie Wallace and Paul Christenson are vying to replace incumbent Mayor Pro Tem Mary Lou Shipley, who did not garner enough votes to advance to the runoff.

Wallace is a white-collar investigator and a retired Waxahachie police officer whose husband is Ellis County District 378 Judge William D. “Doug” Wallace. Her only previous political experience was serving as treasurer for her husband’s district judge campaign in 2018. Christenson, a financial officer, ran unsuccessfully for City Council last November against Mayor David Hill.

In the May 1 joint city-school board election, Wallace finished with 1,609 votes or 37.78 percent of the vote, followed by Christenson with 1,347 votes and Shipley with 1,303 votes.

In Place 5, incumbent councilmember Charles “Chuck” Beatty is being challenged by Travis M. Smith, a business consultant. Beatty won a plurality on May 1 with 1,686 votes or 41.34 percent, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a runoff with Smith, who was second with 1,503 votes. Darrin Robinson was third with 889 votes.

Tuesday was the last day of early voting at the Ellis County Elections Office at 204 E. Jefferson Street. All voting in Waxahachie on Saturday will take place at the Marvin Elementary School cafeteria at 110 Brown Street. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The election will complete a cycle where the City Council converts from at-large elections to specific places. Waxahachie voters in November 2019 approved a referendum making a change in how councilmembers are elected.

Election season won’t be over in Ellis County after Saturday. The runoff for the Texas U.S. House District 6 special election will take place on July 27 as a result of an order by Gov. Greg Abbott setting the date.

Two Republicans will square off in the runoff election. Jake Ellzey of Ellis County and Susan Wright, the widow of Congressman Ron Wright, are seeking to complete the term of Ron Wright, who died on Feb. 7. The two advanced to the runoff in the May 1 special election after none of the 23 candidates on the ballot captured a majority of votes.