Irving voters elected two new council members Saturday, turning aside underdog candidates endorsed by the mayor. Suburban voters also decided City Council races in Grand Prairie and Plano and school trustee seats in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch and Richardson districts. In the District 1 single-member seat, DART board chairman and former council member John Danish easily defeated retired airline worker Loren Byers. And Allan Meagher, who stepped off the council in 2011 on the eve of a divorce, defeated local government watchdog Kensley Stewart for the open seat in at-large District 2. While no major issues defined the runoffs, the races grew divisive compared with May’s sleepy campaigns. “It was amazing,” Danish said. “Three sitting council members including the mayor and six school board members jumping on top of me to oppose me.” Mayor Beth Van Duyne, along with several City Council members and a majority of Irving ISD trustees, endorsed Stewart and Byers, who both finished second in May’s elections. The campaigns and their supporters, including at least two political action committees, swapped accusatory mailers and newspaper ads in the runoffs’ closing weeks. Stewart was blasted for two decades-old arrests for minor crimes and his recent unemployment. Meagher took heat for debt woes and divorce after stepping off the council. Danish was accused of once turning a potential client away from his law office because she was Hispanic.

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