On June 8, 2019, Lily Bao and Shelby Williams won their run off elections in one of the most contentious and expensive local elections in recent memory. Lily Bao beat former Democrat precinct chair Ann Bacchus by 2,775 votes, and Shelby Williams won by 1,281 votes over incumbent Ron Kelly.
This local election was very expensive. Almost a quarter of a million dollars was spent by big developers and donors to get Kelly and Bacchus elected. Some of the money was spent on scummy and false mailers attacking Lily and Shelby. The Mayor got in on the despicable behavior calling Lily and Shelby the “hate slate”, so he could maintain a majority on council. Lily and Shelby’s win proves out spending your opponent does not mean victory. It also shows that calling people names and assaulting your opponent’s volunteer, like Ann Bacchus did, will not get you votes.
Shelby and Lily won the election not with money, but with grassroot support. Plano residents volunteered to block walk, call, and poll greet for Shelby and Lily. These volunteers have seen their property taxes go up about 40% in five years, and they can’t afford another tax hike. They are tried of the lack of transparency from city council and staff. Lily and Shelby’s supporters also have had enough of the Mayor’s verbal abuse towards them at council meetings, in the press, and on social media. Some of those instances Plano’s Political Pit Bull has written about.
Some of Shelby William’s volunteers helped to get Ron Kelly elected 4 years ago. Why did they support Shelby this time? They feel that Ron Kelly betrayed them. They thought he was going to fight for lower tax bills and limit more apartments. After council members Rick Smith and Anthony Ricciardelli won their elections two years ago, supporters thought they had a 4 to 4 balance on the council. In the end, Ron Kelly voted with the Mayor on issues Kelly’s supporters were against. Some believe Ron Kelly has been seduced by power. Others believe he has been manipulated by the Mayor. A few simply think Ron Kelly lied to get elected. Whatever the reason for his change, in this election most of Ron Kelly’s original supporters went to help Shelby William and Lilly Bao’s campaigns.
After the election these supporters again have four people they believe will fight for them. Now the question is can Shelby Williams, Lily Bao, Anthony Ricciardelli, and Rick Smith do what they have promised? Can these four not be corrupted by the Mayor and the government swamp? Can they stand up to the Mayor and staff on behalf of the residents? Will they be able to question everything staff says, and not take things at face valve? With the staff’s recommended budget and tax rate for 2020 about to be released, we will soon find out.
This is Plano’s Political Pit Bull Signing Off.