Election officials in Harris and Fort Bend counties worked through the night Tuesday to tabulate the results of the race for the District A seat on Missouri City council and, in the end, only six votes separated the two leading contenders.
Monica Riley and Reginald Pearson will now square off in a runoff election, for which a date has not yet been determined, after finishing first and second in Tuesday’s election, according to complete but unofficial numbers.
About 591 people opted for Riley, or about 46.8 percent of the vote, compared to Pearson’s 585 votes, or 46.3 percent, according to numbers from both Harris and Fort Bend counties.
“I’m elated, excited, thankful and humbled by the citizens of District A once again allowing me the opportunity to be a public servant,” Pearson said after the runoff was confirmed.
Riley, meanwhile, said she looked forward to meeting more voters ahead of the runoff, but acknowledged some of her supporters were disappointed that the race wasn’t decided Tuesday night.
“I’m looking forward to getting to work,” she said. “Hopefully, we’ll get the runoff done and secure the win and then get to work.”
The third contender for the District A spot, Bruce Zaborowski, finished with 86 votes, according to complete but unofficial numbers.
The numbers for the District A race could still change, at least somewhat. The results are complete except for provisional ballots and late absentee and outstanding military ballots, which won’t be counted until Nov. 8, if there are any, said John Oldman, Fort Bend County’s elections administrator.
Both Riley and Pearson confirmed that Missouri City officials haven’t yet finalized a date for a runoff election, but thought it would come sometime in December.
Pearson, for his part, was somewhat concerned at the low turnout numbers for the election.
“I’m just looking at the numbers overall,” he said. “I appreciate what the voters have done for me, keeping me in there, and I’m thankful for all the votes. But there’s been low voter turnout overall.”
Just 6.67 percent of the county’s 498,713 registered voters turned out for the November election, according to Fort Bend County election records.
Pearson, a corporate food buyer, was previously appointed to the District A seat on council in 2018 and has served as a commissioner on the planning and zoning commission as well as on several other committees and on his local homeowners’ association board.
Compared to Riley, that makes Pearson the more experienced candidate capable of quickly implementing positive changes, he said.
Meanwhile, Riley played up her lifelong residence in Missouri City and being a fresh perspective as reasons she would go on to win a runoff election, she said.
“I think it speaks volumes that the newcomer running for council in Missouri City did as well as I did,” she said.