WF city councilor candidate will withdraw if runoff needed

Updated: Nov. 7, 2018 at 5:51 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - While Chris Reitsma was on the ballot for the Wichita Falls City Councilor District 5 seat he was not actively campaigning for that position.

Still he received 28-percent of the votes, and with Steve Jackson getting 49-percent there is a possibility of a runoff election between those two candidates.

Marie Balthrop, Wichita Falls city Clerk, said Reitsma can choose to remove himself from a runoff.

She said the city has six days for the military overseas ballots to come in through the mail, and next Tuesday they will process those ballots when the early voting board meets.

If at that time none of the candidates have 50.1-percent of the votes then there could be a runoff.

But again, Reitsma plans to withdraw from the race.

In October he told us why he was not campaigning for the seat.

“If I did get elected I would be the only one up there that has anything close to the point of views that I have, just a waste of time to me if it happens,” Reitsma said.

He was on the ballot anyways because he did not withdraw before the deadline.

Fast forward to the day after the election, now he is facing the possibility of a runoff.

He sent us this statement about his plans to withdraw.

“If a runoff is needed after the provisional and mail in ballots are in, I plan to withdraw myself from the runoff. Shortly after I originally filed to run for the District 5 City Council seat there was a big change in my business.

Reitsma said that change is his business Point Blank CHL grew by 600-percent because he is now offering online license to carry courses.

“This unexpected change in my business consumes a lot of my time, and that's why I decided not to campaign for the District 5 seat. It's why I will withdraw from a runoff if a runoff is needed. I have to put my family and business first and that's what I'm going to do,” said Reitsma.

Mayor Stephen Santellana said he has a right to do that.

“He doesn’t have to participate in that [runoff election] and if he does that we wish him well,” said Mayor Santellana. “I’m glad he’s at least giving us a heads up so we can start our planning process.”

Balthrop could not say how much a runoff election would cost but does believe it is not going to be necessary given Reitsma’s statement.

We reached out to Steve Jackson to get his thoughts on the possibility of another election and said “I will speak with y’all when I have all the facts.”

District 5 incumbent Mitesh Desai did however send us this statement.

“The results were disappointing. I want to thank my family, friends, and the community for supporting me. It has been my honor to serve our community this past year during the special term. I have been fortunate to see how hard our mayor, city council, and all city staff work day in and out in the betterment of our community. There were some obstacles during the election and they were unfortunate. I wish Steve Jackson and Chris Reitsma the best of luck and to take advantage of this opportunity to serve our city.”

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