Voters casting ballots in May 1 local races will see many elected leaders, past and present, vying for another stint in office.
In San Antonio, chasing a third term, Mayor Ron Nirenberg faces multiple challengers, most notably former District 6 Councilman Greg Brockhouse, whom Nirenberg beat in the 2019 mayoral runoff.
Nirenberg has weathered criticism for the city’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, while also weighing calls for more police accountability.
The former campus radio-station manager wants to continue initiatives he’s overseen, including those designed to boost workforce training and affordable housing.
“I know that by working together, we’ll come back from this even stronger than where we started,” Nirenberg said.
Job creation and economic development are among Brockhouse’s campaign priorities.
“Recovery is all about jobs. We must take the approach that every job is important, both now and especially post-pandemic,” Brockhouse said.
Other mayoral hopefuls are Ray Basaldua, Joshua Jones Galvan, Michael Idrogo, J. Miller, Frank Adam Muniz, Tim Atwood, Denise Gutierrez-Homer, Gary Allen, Antonio “Tony” Diaz, Justin Macaluso, Dan Martinez and John Velasquez.
Term limits prohibit District 3 Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran from reelection, but her sister Phyllis Viagran will try to keep the seat in the family.
Phyllis Viagran, a community outreach coordinator/trainer with Older Adults Technology Services, which helps older adults learn more about technology.
Another District 3 contender is Tomas Uresti, formerly a state representative and Harlandale Independent School District trustee, and brother of one-time state Sen. Carlos Uresti.
Others are Stephen “Steve” Valdez, Rafael C. Vela, Diana Flores Uriegas, Rodolfo “Rudy” Lopez, architect Marcello Martinez, sales manager Ted Gonzalez, business-development representative Katherine Herrera Garza, business owner Walter Murray; Angela Cardona, an official with the nonprofit Avance; and Mark Arthur Vargas Jr., former counselor at Brooks Academy of Science and Engineering.
Term limits also prohibit District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales from seeking reelection.
Eleven residents filed to succeed her: real estate agent and Lone Star resident Marie Crabb, attorney David Yañez, nonprofit executive Jason Mata, operations executive Norberto “Geremy” Landin, teacher Teri Castillo, retirees Ray Garza, Rudy Lopez and Jesse J. Alaniz, Harlandale Independent School District trustee Ricardo Moreno, and business owners Anthony Gres and Irma G. Barron.
Also, San Antonio voters will mull two City Charter amendments. One repeals police officers’ collective bargaining rights, a goal for reformers.
Some City Council members have questioned the second proposal, which would let the city issue bonds for permanent public improvements or others not prohibited by the Texas Constitution, including possibly building new homes or improving existing homes.
In Harlandale ISD, board Vice President Juan Mancha is the lone District 1 applicant. Orlando Salazar, an insurance agent, opposes District 2 trustee Christine Carrillo as he did in 2017.
Retiree Lillian Zapata and teacher Louie Luna filed for the District 3 school board seat that was occupied by Esequiel “Zeke” Mendoza, who died Feb. 21 at age 61. Zapata later was disqualified because of voter registration/residency issues.
Former trustee David Abundis faces current District 4 trustee and board President Norma Cavazos.
Races in the San Antonio Independent School District include Lavaca resident and COVID-19 case investigator Sarah Sorensen, who opposes District 1 trustee Steve Lecholop, an attorney and King William Historic District resident.
Systems engineer and former District 3 Councilwoman Leticia Ozuna and Judit Vega, food-justice coordinator with the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, applied in District 3.
April 1 is the voter-registration deadline, with early voting from April 19-27.