Citing overwhelming odds against her and a desire for taxpayer dollars to be spent in ways other than a runoff election, the second place finisher in Saturday night's race for College Station City Council Place 5 has dropped her bid for the office.
Julie Schultz finished the night with 49.9 percent of the votes. She needed a majority in the four-person race for the seat to earn it outright. Because she came up short, a runoff between her and second-place finisher Sherry Ellison was set to be scheduled.
However, in a statement sent to News 3 early Sunday afternoon, Ellison said she was ending her quest and asked that the runoff be called off.
"There would be some voting differences, but the result would be the same," Ellison wrote. "I think Julie Schultz and I both want a City Council with members who are willing to listen to each other, listen to citizens, work with the City Manager and City Staff, and act together for the common good of the citizens in the present and future."
Ellison's complete statement is below.
Schultz said Ellison told her Saturday night that she wanted take an evening to consider whether she wanted a runoff to happen. Then, Ellison called Schultz just before 1:00 p.m. Sunday to concede, a call Schultz called gracious.
"I'm very happy about being on the city council," the new representative said. "It was a reasonably positive race. Sherry was a nice person to be in a campaign against. I'm very excited about the future of College Station, and I hope I get to be a small part of that and do great things on the horizon."
Schultz said both she and Ellison shared a similar goal of ending negativity in city government and moving the city forward in a more positive manner.
According to College Station spokesperson Jay Socol, Ellison must complete paperwork to withdraw from the race no later than 5:00 p.m. Tuesday. The election results will be canvassed Thursday, and Schultz would be declared the winner, thus nixing a special June runoff election that would cost the city in the neighborhood of $35,000 to run.
New councilmembers -- including Saturday winners Blanche Brick and Karl Mooney -- are due to be sworn in following the votes' canvassing Thursday.
Ellison finished with just more than a quarter of the votes cast for Place 5. Hal Hawkins finished in third place with 22 percent. Danyal Shaikh earned less than one percent.
The following is Sherry Ellison's statement released Sunday:
"I want to thank the citizens of College Station for turning out in large numbers to vote. This vote has determined that the City Council will be able to function as a team doing the citizens’ business. Voters have shown that nonpartisan elections are very important to them. There have been several forums that have allowed citizens to listen to the candidates and make their decisions.
"I have considered the option of a runoff election for Place 5. There would be some voting differences, but the result would be the same. I think Julie Schultz and I both want a City Council with members who are willing to listen to each other, listen to citizens, work with the City Manager and City Staff, and act together for the common good of the citizens in the present and future. I want the money to be spent on the current needs of the city, not on a runoff election. I thank everyone who worked so hard for my election and who supported me."