PALESTINE, Texas (KETK) — After a special runoff election was held on Saturday to determine the next mayor of Palestine, candidate Justin Florence emerged victorious.
According to the unofficial canvass totals from the city of Palestine, Florence earned 56.26% with a total of 701 votes, while his opponent Mitchell Jordan received 43.74% of the vote with 545 votes.
Florence and Jordan were sent into a runoff when they earned the top two spots during the May 7 special election, with Florence earning 34.39% of the vote and Jordan receiving 28.94%. The two beat out their three other competitors, Alex Nemer, who received 15.13%, Ava Harmon, who got 13.06% and Vickey L. Chivers, who earned 8.49%.
This special mayoral election was held as a result of the previous mayor resigning in February amid allegations of assault.
Florence has served as City Councilman for District 6 since May of 2021 and has been a lifetime resident of the city. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University-Commerce with a degree in Business Administration/Management.
“This election was never about me,” Florence said in a statement on his Facebook page. “The Mayor’s seat does not belong to any individual. This position belongs to you, the residents of Palestine. Palestine’s future is bright. There is nothing we cannot accomplish when we work together.”