Armintor Beats Newquist In City Council Runoff Election

Several precincts flipped for Deb Armintor as she notched a resounding election victory that rebuked Aaron Newquist's controversial campaign tactics in the race for Place 5 on Denton City Council. It was an emotional atmosphere at Armintor's watch party Saturday night, where a large crowd at Crossroads Bar joined in celebration. 

"What I’m most excited about is that Denton voted for love instead of hate - that is really what I’m most excited about," Armintor said. “I was not campaigning on a love theme, a  'love everybody' theme[...] but it turned into that because of my opponent’s negative campaigning and that is what I’m the most excited about right now.”

Once the results looked clear, Newquist posted a statement on Facebook thanking his supporters. It reads as follows:

I’d like to thank my family, campaign volunteers and supporters who stood by me in this campaign. It’s been a long few months and I am looking forward to spending more time with family. I will continue to be an advocate for lower taxes and better city services and will continue to work to serve Denton and those around me. Thank you all and God Bless.

Newquist has since deleted both his campaign pages off of Facebook and Twitter.

As early voting for the runoff began, Newquist began receiving criticism for a letter to Robson Ranch homes and campaign mailers he sent out. The contents of his literature pointedly marked himself as a conservative candidate and painted Deb Armintor as a dangerous liberal in support of sanctuary cities and dual-language programs in education.

Newquist then responded with a statement that showed Armintor paid $350 for a canvassing list from the Democratic Party. Newquist interpreted this action to mean collusion with the Democratic Party. His Facebook page then began deleting comments and banning users that were questioning his practices. 

 The Denton Record-Chronicle reported that Newquist spent $14,000 on his campaign in comparison to $3,000 in expenditures for Armintor. Armintors's supporters said they relied on a "grassroots campaign" focused on mobilizing voters personally.

Aside from Newquist's controversial campaign tactics which caused public uproar and resulted in a couple of unendorsements, Armintor was able to get large-voting precincts, some which previously voted for Newquist in the general election, to flip and earn her victory. 

Newquist's decision to focus on Robson Ranch was successful in getting 213 more votes from precinct 4003 than he did in the May 5 election. There, Newquist had 82 percent of the vote with 900 tallies to Armintor's 199. 

There wasn't much success with him appealing to the rest of Denton. Precinct 4011 originally favored Newquist as he had 43 percent of the vote. On Saturday, that precinct favored Armintor with 70 percent of the total. 

Precinct 4007 already leaned towards Armintor, and she had 198 votes to capture 58 percent of the vote. They leaned even harder. In the runoff, Armintor won 253 votes to dominate with 79 percent of the precinct's ballots. 

Despite that distinct advantage provided by Robson Ranch, Armintor made enough gains spread out across town to win the election by a comfortable nine points. Now she says she looks forward to getting to work for all citizens of Denton.

"If you voted for my opponent because you thought he would do a better job of lowering your taxes and electric bills because he’s a conservative, I’m really excited to prove as a progressive I’m going to lower your electric bills and taxes too," Armintor said. "However, if you voted for my opponent because you don’t like LGBT people, or immigrants or don’t think the NAACP is worth anyone’s time then, sorry, they are not going to be happy with me because I represent everybody.”

**Article was updated to correct voting totals in precinct 4003

Photo by Tori Falcon
Header image layout designed by Mateo Granados