By Moses Leos III
It took two attempts, but Kyle voters chose to elect political newcomers Daphne Tenorio and Damon Fogley to the Kyle City Council dais in Saturday’s runoff election.
Tenorio, who ran in her first election campaign, ousted District 6 incumbent Tammy Swaton by gaining 55 percent of the vote. In the race for the District 5 seat vacated by Samantha Bellows, Fogley defeated Jaime Sanchez in a landslide, claiming 58.8 percent of the vote.
For Tenorio, the win now means she can begin to serve her constituents.
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” Tenorio said. “I’m excited about giving my district a voice that it hasn’t had and giving it the representation that it deserves.”
In the runoff for District 6, Tenorio held an 85-79 lead after early voting totals were released. She then pulled away on Election Day by gaining 80 votes to Swaton’s 56.
For Tenorio, the lead up has been “tremendous,” which involved her going door to door and asking, and at times answering, questions.
While she admits she may not “know everything about city government,” Tenorio said she’s “blessed” to have resources to help her get answers for her constituents.?
“I don’t have a problem asking questions and asking for help,” Tenorio said. “I think that makes me a viable candidate.”?
Focusing on small business will be one of her primary goals, with Tenorio saying the city has an abundance of small businesses, but doesn’t “give them the same courtesy we give big development deals.”
While she acknowledges the city’s Downtown Revitalization Grant, she believes the city could do more for small businesses.?
“We should be able to do more for (small businesses). We should be able to help them become bigger businesses,” Tenorio said. “If we were to give some of those funds from bigger developments to smaller businesses … we could help them grow.”?
She went on to add that doing so could allow small businesses to become the city’s “leading job producers.”
But her top focus will be on the city’s roads, which she said are “absolutely atrocious” in her area and are a hazard.?
“We need to suck it up, buttercup and get to work and get the citizens what they’ve paid for,” Tenorio said. “We’re paying for a Mercedes. I don’t want a Yugo.”
Fogley, who pulled out to a substantial 294-161 lead over Jaime Sanchez after unofficial early voting totals, won the race for the District 5 seat. Fogley and Sanchez each gained 148 votes on Election Day, but Fogley’s lead was enough to catapult him to the win.
“I’m excited to serve the City of Kyle and my community for the next three years,” Fogley said.
Name recognition was the primary challenge for Fogley, who said he attempted to “get his name out there and talk to people” during the General Election and runoff campaigns.
He attributed his win to those who backed him during both elections.
“It wasn’t just me, it was my neighbors, my (Homeowners Association), my subdivision, those that I have a connection with in the community and those I talked with while block walking,” Fogley said.
Taking on local issues such as growth, improving pay for public safety officials and the city’s debt is what Fogley said he will “take a passion in.”
Making Kyle into a business-friendly city, while drawing employers who offer “good paying jobs and benefits” is also an important focus. Economic development he said is “huge” as he believes the “root” of the city’s problem is its’ lack of a diverse tax base.
With the city dependent on property taxes, he believes adding mixed use and retail development with an addition in housing could provide equilibrium.
“If we add more housing, we must add mixed use (development) and retail districts,” he said.