WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - The four-person race to fill the Wichita Falls City Councilor At-Large Seat ended Tuesday night in a runoff election. With Bobby Whiteley just shy of the needed 51-percent of the vote to win.
Whiteley held a watch party as the numbers came in and even though he knew there was a good chance it was going to end in a runoff, he said he was really hoping it did not.
"Well I'm pretty confident, we had really good numbers you know," said Whiteley. "Our voter turnout was a little disappointing it really was, I wish we would have had 6,000 voters instead of 3,000."
He said if more voters would have come out a runoff might not have happened.
On the other hand, Whiteley said he is excited about the results and a chance of still being in the game.
He adds four candidates running for the same seat shows people truly want to help make Wichita Falls better and said he is ready to keep campaigning.
"We're going to stay positive, and you know this whole race has been positive," said Whiteley. "It's about doing things for our city, serving the city, serving our citizens and that message won't change."
He said part of that message is his goal to help Wichita Falls move forward.
One way he hopes to do that is by working on the city's building codes, especially when it comes to downtown. Making those codes more helpful for citizens and contractors.
Whiteley said win or lose he is going to continue to work with the downtown steering committee but hopes to fill that At-Large Council seat to have a hand in improving the entire city.
The person facing off against Whiteley in that runoff election is Penny Miller.
Miller took 22-percent of the votes edging out Brendan Bell by just 45 votes. As she moves into the next round, she said she is excited to continue.
"Bobby is a really tough candidate," Miller said. "He did really well. He almost pulled off winning it all together."
She said this race included four great candidates, so she was not sure how it all would shake out. Miller said the only thing that surprised her was the turnout being only just over 3,600 people and hopes more people get out for the runoff election.
Miller knows she has her work cut out for her but is up to the challenge.
"There will be more opportunities to get out and talk to people," she added. "To listen to what's important to them. And also to talk to them about my ideas and get feedback from them. Hopefully, convince them to get out there and vote."
Miller said any of the candidates would be a great Councilor At-Large and she is honored to have made it this far but hopes she makes it even further.
She also said it is been a great experience, that she has learned a lot and met some really good people.
Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana said that no date has been set for the runoff election, but they are aiming for some time in early December.