The city of DeSoto has a new mayor who is no stranger to local politics. Rachel Proctor won a special election to fill the seat vacated by Curtistene McCowan when she died after battling lung cancer.
Proctor, who grew up in DeSoto, was elected to city council in 2013 and served as mayor pro tem a few years later from 2016 to 2019. She said transparency in local government is a top priority as she takes on the new role.
“My goal is to make sure that we have an open city government,” she said. “Meaning people feel comfortable coming to their mayor and their city council with their concerns.”
COVID-19 is also top of mind for Proctor. Dallas County has more than 260,000 confirmed and probable cases of the virus. Hospitalizations in North Texas for COVID-19 have been trending downward for more than two weeks, but she said the pandemic remains a critical issue.
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“We’ve got to come together and make that a priority to make sure that any resources coming our way make it to the hands of the residents and the people that need them the most,” said Proctor. “And to make sure that Desoto has a seat at the table at all time as it pertains to how these resources are being distributed and we are staying ahead of that to ensure we get our fair share of what we need for our citizens."
Proctor won the special election with more than 60% of the vote. She’ll have to run again in 2022 to keep her seat once the remainder of this term ends.
During campaign season, the mayor-elect opened her schedule on Tuesdays and Thursdays of every week to take one-on-one calls from people who live in the city. She said she intends to maintain that policy during her time as mayor.
“The things that we decide as elected leadership are the things that the community has to live with,” she said. “So, we’ve got to make sure that we are intentional about hearing from them so that we can make data-driven decisions in terms of policy and the things we are bringing to the community."