The Blue Wave that swept several Republican stalwarts out of office on Nov. 6 made its final sweep across Missouri City on Saturday in historic fashion as longtime Mayor Allen Owen was defeated in a runoff election by Councilmember Yolanda Ford.
Ford became the first black and the first woman to be elected mayor of Missouri City. Although the election is non-partisan, Ford had the backing of the Democratic Party. Owen has long been tied to the Republican Party.
“I am so proud that the residents of Missouri City have elected me as their mayor. After having served on the city council for the past five years, and as a lifelong resident, I am deeply invested in the well-being and growth of Missouri City, and I look forward to working with citizens, the city council and others toward its betterment,” Ford said in a statement.
Ford had 5, 015 votes (51.9 percent) to Owen’s 4,642 (48.1 Percent). In another runoff election, Councilmember Chris Preston easily won re-election 6,050 (64.2 percent) to challenger Susan Soto’s 3,377 (35.8 percent).
The so-called Blue Wave was a major push by the Democratic Party to get Democrats elected locally and across Texas. Nearly every Democrat won their election in Fort Bend County on Nov. 6, taking the seats of County Judge, Precinct 4 Commissioner, and many other positions and judgeships.
Owen was first elected mayor in 1994 and served on the city council for eight years prior to that.
“I am proud of what I have helped the City to accomplish this past 39 years,” he said. “When I began this journey we were a little sleepy bedroom community of 24,000 people. Today we are a thriving multi-purpose City of nearly 80,000. I am glad to have just been a part of that growth.
“In elections there are always winners and losers. The citizens have spoken and said they are ready for someone else to take the reins. I wish the new Mayor and Council the best and I will now go back to being the normal citizen I was 39 years ago. It will give me the opportunity to spend more time with my family, play more golf, and sleep better at night. I have not gone away, I am just starting another chapter in my life. I think God still has other plans for me.”
Ford took the oath of office as a city council member in July of 2013, becoming the fourth woman in Missouri City’s history to be elected to council. With 20 years of experience in community development, land acquisition and leadership, Ford ran a grassroots mayoral campaign based on key issues such as increasing city revenue, building economic opportunity, creating redevelopment incentives, promoting community safety and addressing aging infrastructure.
Ford is a native of Missouri City and a graduate of Dulles High School. She earned a bachelor of science in psychology from the University of Houston and a master of architecture from Prairie View A&M University.
The runoff election results will be canvassed at the Monday, Dec. 17, special city council meeting. The candidates can then be sworn in after that at the regular meeting that immediately follows the canvassing. Ford becomes the 11th mayor of the 62-year-old city.