- Ben Wear American-Statesman Staff
Hilda Montgomery, who works for Round Rock bell cow Dell Technologies, defeated two opponents Saturday in a special election to serve on the Round Rock City Council.
Montgomery, a financial services project manager at Dell, had 55.8 percent of the vote in final but unofficial results from the Williamson County clerk.
The win marks the first time a black woman has been elected to the council.
Hollis Bone came in second, at 41.9 percent. John Montgomery, no relation to the winner, had 2.3 percent of the vote. About 5.5 percent of the city’s registered voters turned out for the special election, according to the clerk’s office.
With supporters loudly celebrating at her victory party moments after the vote became final, Hilda Montgomery described herself as “blissfully happy” at the result. After taking office in January, she said, her first priority will be to talk with her new colleagues about the city’s direction.
“I’ll have more of an idea where my ideas are going to fit in then,” she said. “This is a council. It’s not one person.”
Montgomery will serve through May 2019 in the Place 6 seat once held by Kris Whitfield. The longtime council member announced in October that she was stepping down to move to Wyoming with her husband.
Montgomery, 64, has said strengthening city transparency and providing transportation solutions would be her priorities as a council member. A city resolution supporting a large electric transmission line through her neighborhood spurred her to run for office.
“The city government should be open to the citizens of Round Rock,” she said.
The city’s $5 million, five-year contract with Capital Metro to provide bus service was a prominent issue in the race. Montgomery said the service should be increased to benefit more residents, particularly in the western side of the city.
The current service, she said, “is a great start. But I definitely believe we can improve on that.”
Bone, 52, executive vice president of R Bank, ran a campaign focused on fiscal responsibility and touted his experience. He has served on more than a dozen boards and commissions over the past 17 years, including acting as chairman of the Round Rock Chamber and the city Planning and Zoning Commission.
Hilda Montgomery and Bone previously ran for the Place 1 council seat and mayor, respectively, in the May city elections. This was John Montgomery’s first foray into city elections.