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Possible Castro nomination prompts replacement questions

City Council would find mayoral replacement

With San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro reportedly being tapped for a presidential cabinet post, questions are circulating as to who will replace him as mayor.
With San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro reportedly being tapped for a presidential cabinet post, questions are circulating as to who will replace him as mayor.

With San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro reportedly being tapped for a presidential Cabinet post, questions are circulating as to who will replace him as mayor.

An official White House nomination has yet to happen, but Castro is reportedly on a short list to be the next secretary of housing and urban development.

If he is chosen by President Obama it will be up to Castro's colleagues to find his successor.

The remaining 10 council members will appoint a new mayor who will serve until the next mayoral election in 2015.

The current San Antonio City Council members have had to fill vacant district seats twice in the last 8 months.

District 9 Councilman Joe Krier was appointed to fill in for former Councilwoman Elisa Chan after she resigned to run for state senate. District 10 Councilman Mike Gallagher took over for former Councilman Carlton Soules, who is currently running for Bexar County Judge. Krier and Gallagher both won the special elections for their seats last week.

It is still early in the process, but several council members have already weighed in on their interest, or lack thereof, in the job.

District 6 Councilman Ray Lopez said he is seriously considering the job, and believes the current council will work together to pick an appropriate replacement.

"I think the council in general has had a pretty collegial approach to how we govern the city. With him (Castro) out of the picture, because he has set a good pace and good tone, we'll continue to do that kind of stuff. Whoever winds up being mayor and then ultimately ... when a new mayor takes the seat I think we'll continue to have that kind of collegiality," said Lopez.

District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg said he has fielded calls from supporters asking him to go after the job and is considering seeking the appointment.

Nirenberg said whoever takes over will have large shoes to fill.

"We're in a very critical time and we need to sustain the momentum we've had under Mayor Castro and Hardberger," Nirenberg said. "We're going to need strong leadership to get the work done. It would be an honor to serve all 10 districts and if my colleagues saw me in the same light, I'd consider it."

In a statement to KSAT 12 on Sunday Rebecca Viagran said she would not seek the appointment.

"Although I've been asked to consider seeking the appointment for mayor from people whose opinion I respect, I will not be adding my name to that list. I look forward to visiting with my council colleagues who have expressed an interest in being mayor to see how we can continue to move the city forward," said Viagran.

When asked if he would be interested in the job, District 9 Councilman Joe Krier said it was too early to start picking a successor to the mayor.

"Julian Castro is our mayor until he is not. There are a lot of variables that could keep him around for a long time," Krier said in a statement. "I think our country spends too much time speculating on who will run for what and when. I think we should all just focus on the immediate tasks we have in front of us right now."

If Castro joins the Obama administration he'll leave the future of several major initiatives to his successor and remaining council members including SA 2020 and Pre-K 4SA.

Several remaining council members also hinted that they were not interested in replacing Castro.

Castro declined to comment on this story.