LOCAL ELECTIONS

Van Arsdale wins in Cedar Park, Hill and Villarreal head to runoff for mayor in Leander

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Cedar Park has a new mayor and a pair of candidates will head to a runoff election for Leander mayor. Voters also elected three new council members in each of the cities and passed 29 of 30 total ballot measures.

Corbin Van Arsdale won a sweeping victory over rival Bob Cornelius, earning 70 percent of the vote in Cedar Park’s mayoral race. Van Arsdale will replace outgoing Mayor Matt Powell, who chose not to run for re-election this year. 

“Our family literally loves Cedar Park,” said Van Arsdale after the election. “It’s been good to us, and given us a wonderful and safe place to live. So it will be a real honor to continue serving Cedar Park residents on the council… to keep this great thing we have going, and make it even better.”

In Leander, candidates Troy Hill and Vic Villarreal will face each other in a runoff on June 16. Hill garnered 991 votes, or 42 percent, while Villarreal had 743 votes, or 32 percent, in last Saturday’s election. Rival Adam Benefield finished third in the voting with 26 percent. 

Three women running for city council seats in Leander all won their races. Michelle Stephenson (Place 2), Christine Sederquist (Place 4) and Marci Cannon (Place 6) all secured victories after all 27 precincts reported in Saturday night. Cannon's victory was the closest, as she finished with 51 percent of the vote in a three-way race against Marshall Hines (33 percent) and Derek Levisay (17 percent). 

A trio of conservative candidates swept their respective races for seats on the Cedar Park City Council. Mel Kirkland beat Michael Thompson, earning 55 percent of the vote in the race for the Place 2 seat. Mike Guevara won the Place 4 seat with 57 percent of the vote, beating Patrick Walz. Dorian Chavez beat Shellie Hayes-McMahon with 54 percent of the vote in the Place 6 race. 

All 22 ballot measures up for a vote in Cedar Park passed, including a proposition to reallocate more than a million dollars in sales tax revenue from economic development activities to a stormwater drainage program. 

Cedar Park voters also passed a measure that could undo the some of the work done by a city council member who resigns his or her seat. Another measure will prohibit council members from discussing certain matters with the media or the public without a majority vote of the council.

Leander voters approved seven of eight ballot measures, including a proposition to reassess progress and costs associated with the city’s comprehensive plan. A proposition that would have extended the term of the city auditor from three years to five was the only ballot measure that failed in either city. 

Across Williamson County, voter turnout was just 6.47 percent. However, city council races in Cedar Park garnered significantly more votes than last year. 

In 2017, Anne Duffy and Heather Jefts won council seats by defeating incumbents Lyle Grimes and Jon Lux. Those races drew fewer than 3,300 votes. Turnout was up nearly 70 percent for the May 5 local election, with Kirkland, Guevara and Chavez each garnering more than 3,000 votes in their respective victories. 

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