SAN ANTONIO – The three primary candidates in the race for mayor of San Antonio participated in a spirited forum Thursday night at the Tobin Center.
The forum was sponsored by the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Bexar County Medical Society in partnership with KSAT 12.
Mayor Ivy Taylor, City Councilman Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Democratic Chairman Manuel Medina discussed a variety of topics during the 90 minute debate.
Some of the more spirited discussions centered on sanctuary cities and the so-called bathroom bill in the Texas Legislature. All three candidates said they opposed both bills.
The candidates sparred over business ethics within the city of San Antonio and a light rail system from San Antonio to Austin.
Medina said the city has walked away from the rail system, but Nirenberg and Taylor countered by saying that the San Antonio area is committed to the rail system.
The topic of business relationships with Mexico was discussed. The candidates were asked about their stance on a possible renegotiation of NAFTA.
“I have been and will continue to work closely with our congressional delegation to communicate what our needs are in San Antonio, what the impact of NAFTA has been on our community,” Taylor said.
“We're going to lose jobs on this side of the border, it's a very serious issue and we need leadership from the city,” Medina said.
“Our trade agreements with our partners, particularly south of the border, are keeping families and businesses thriving in San Antonio. We need to make sure that the mayor of San Antonio is working actively with our chamber community, particularly the Hispanic chamber,“ said Nirenberg.
One of the final key topics the candidates debated was the city’s nearly $850 million bond proposal to fund various city projects.
Taylor and Nirenberg said they were in favor of the bond, while Medina said he opposed parts of the propositions.
Each candidate ended with a closing statement on why they should be voted as the next mayor of San Antonio.
There are a total of 14 San Antonio mayoral candidates on the ballot.
The municipal election is May 6. Early voting is from April 24 to May 2.