By Vivian Roach | Staff Writer, Video by George Schroeder | Broadcast Reporter
Dillon Meek, Baylor alumnus, was declared the new Waco mayor Tuesday night, leading in votes by 68.95% over opponent, Dave Morrow. Meek will take the place of current mayor, Kyle Deaver.
Meek said he was thankful for Morrow and looked forward to creating new business opportunities in Waco.
“I’m thankful for Dave’s kind words and willingness to run a great campaign and add a lot of value to our community,” Meek said. “I’m excited to serve Waco. I’m excited to grow our economy holistically in a diversified way, by recruiting exciting companies to come here and relocate in Waco, that brings exciting new jobs.”
The new mayor is also excited to build community ties with Baylor students, as a former student himself.
“My goal would be to really build strong solidified partnerships so that when Baylor students graduate, they are excited about staying in Waco,” Meek said. “They have a clear pathway to get a good job or participate in growing our local economy as a graduate.”
When the City of Waco postponed the annual May general election to the Nov. 3 general election in March, three mayoral candidates were running for office: Morrow, Meek and Benjamin Sims. Sims withdrew from the race in July, so Morrow and Meek have upheld a contested race for mayor after previous consecutive uncontested local races for mayor.
In the 2016 election, Deaver, uncontested, replaced Malcolm Duncan Jr. as mayor, ending Duncan’s four-year term in office. Deaver ran unopposed again for his second two-year term in the May 2018 election.
Since Waco hasn’t had a contested mayoral election in over eight years, Morrow said he was asked to run partly because of that.
“In my view, without choices on the ballot, you’re pretty much like North Korea. You can vote, but there’s one name on the ballot. It’s really a joke,” Morrow said.
Morrow said his relationship with Meek was friendly but that he hoped someone else would run against him when he signed up for the race.
“When he declared last October, I hoped that someone else would jump in because I believe in contested elections,” Morrow said. “I told him that when I signed up to run in January.”