Rowlett City Council ‘Place One' Race Set to be Historic, No Matter Who Wins

A North Texas community is heading to the polls in a special election this month.

Three people, each with a unique background, are vying for a city council seat in Rowlett.

Regardless of who wins on Aug. 26, Rowlett is set to make history.

The city of about 60,000 is peppered with political posters, and candidates in several races are making one last pitch outside of Rowlett City Hall.

"Hello, are you here to vote" candidate Blake Margolis asked a couple walking toward the building.

When it comes to the race for Rowlett's City Council Place One, while the campaign signs aren't unique, the faces behind them are.

"I'm Arab, I'm transgender, I'm autistic," said candidate Lina Khalil.

"I would be the first Hispanic male ever in the history of Rowlett to become city council [member]," said candidate Israel Deases.

"What I think makes me unique is my age," Margolis said.

Margolis, 18, said he is finishing up his last year of an online high school with college credit.

"Most 18-year-olds aren't interested in city government," he said. "In fact, they don't even know how city government works."

The teen created the Rowlett/Sachse Scanner Facebook page when he was 13 years old.

Khalil is the daughter of Lebanese immigrants and is transitioning toward becoming a man.

"I'm part of a lot of different communities. That puts me in a position to be a strong advocate for the population at large," Khalil said.

Khalil has a software engineering degree as well.

Deases hopes to bring representation for the city's estimated 16-percent Latino community. When asked what he would fight for first as councilman, Deases responded, "To make the city more comfortable for everybody.

"Right now, everybody is in chaos, and a lot of racism. That's one of the things I would like to work on," he said.

The 47-year-old assistant manager of a local store pointed out his competitors are 18 and 27 years old, respectively.

"I feel like they're young," he said. "They still need to go out and discover the world more, and I feel like I'm the best candidate for this."

Margolis has been politically active since age six when he attended a city council meeting and stood before council members to ask a question about a local park.

"I've been involved in my city," he said. "I would fight for everybody to be heard, and I think it's important that everybody of all kinds are heard."

Election Day is Aug. 26.

The candidates will be at a forum Saturday evening at 7 p.m. at Rowlett's Church in the City.

We asked each candidate to talk about their platform. Watch their answers in the following video:

Three candidates for City Council in Rowlett — Israel Deases, Lina Khalil and Blake Margolis — talk about their platform in the race for "Place One."
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