BY: Debbie O’Reilly
June 19, 2018
Lauren Doherty defeated Shirley Mangrum in the runoff for Allen City Council Place 3 Saturday night, marking the first time that an open Democrat has won a seat in an Allen election. Through relentless community engagement and voter outreach, Doherty earned a 44-vote margin against Mangrum, a realtor with experience in Allen commissions and organizations. Doherty’s message to “give those who speak up on Allen issues a voice at the table” and to “bring fresh ideas and perspectives to a city government that has been on ‘cruise control’ for years” resonated more with voters who are ready for a new voice.
Doherty’s strategy was simple but effective: outwork and outhustle her opponent. Between the initial election and the runoff, Lauren and her volunteers sent out 1,000 texts, 5,200 post cards, 2,100 phone calls, and knocked on 5,900 doors to get voters to the polls in a race where only 3,149 residents voted.
Doherty’s victory quickly gained the attention of local Tea Party candidate Darrell Hale who posted on Facebook that this “should be a wake-up call on local elections” as a “well-organized brazen Democrat won in Allen.” Allen has long been considered a Republican stronghold but has been trending blue. Doherty’s victory could invigorate dormant or tentative Allen Democrats who will now see a path to victory.
Making no apologies for being a Democrat, Doherty accepted the help of several Democratic candidates and activists in Collin County who believed in her vision and her qualifications. Her association with Democratic candidates and her endorsement from WOW Dems, a powerful grassroots organization that works to elect Democrat women, was an alliance she never downplayed and appealed to many voters looking for a proud Democrat to rally them to the polls.
Doherty proved that she is ready to lead in Allen at the June 12 Allen City Council meeting where she spoke against the Council’s vote to widen all sections of Alma. The decision angered several Allen residents who felt that the Council was not listening to their concerns and voting for business as usual. In an invigorating speech, Doherty called out the Allen City Council for ignoring the pleas of a “devoted group of people who took the lead…to form an agreement with the city to stage this process” of widening Alma.
“This council was elected by the residents of Allen and is meant to represent us. If you do not vote to change this plan, it proves what I have said in my campaign all along, that the residents do not have a voice on this council. By holding the vote today, you are taking power out of the hands of the electorate.”
She will now get her chance to speak regularly before the citizens of Allen after she is sworn as Councilwoman on Tuesday, June 26 at 7:00 p.m. at Allen City Hall (305 Century Pkwy).