Candidates battle each other, voter fatigue in runoff election

Special election is city's eighth in less than 12 months

By Cory Smith - VJ, Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio voters headed to the polls once again Tuesday to decide which two candidates would win a spot in the Texas Legislature.

Former San Antonio City Councilman Diego Bernal is taking on Nunzio Previtera. Both men are vying to fill the vacant House District 123 seat. Former state representative -- and current San Antonio mayoral candidate -- Mike Villarreal abandoned the post to run for mayor in 2014.

Both Bernal and Previtera were confident that their campaigns had done enough to win.

"Before someone's a Republican or a Democrat, they're a person, and they want to hear from you. They want to know what you're about. They want you to listen to them and we've done a lot of that. We think that is what is going to put us over the top," Bernal said.

"I think I'm going to win because I care for the people," Previtera said.

The other special election pits State Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer against his statehouse colleague Rep. Jose Menendez. The two men spent thousands on television ads touting their record over their opponent's.

Martinez-Fischer said he's proud of the "old-fashioned" campaign he ran.

"This campaign has been going on strong for three months now. We have knocked on over 70,000 doors; we've talked to thousands of voters. This has been a very energetic people-friendly, people-oriented, campaign," said Martinez-Fischer.

Menendez has led a very aggressive campaign, and  he's confident that his message hit home with voters.

"Tonight the outcome is going to be who connected the best and who's message resonated the most with the voters," he said.

Although the two elections are head-to-head match-ups, there is another force weighing on both races: voter fatigue. Despite the city's history of low turnout, each candidate was hopeful that they had done enough to energize a weary electorate voting in their eighth election in less than 12 months.

"Given the narrowness of the ballot, I'm pretty encouraged and pretty appreciative of the voters taking time to vote," Martinez-Fischer said.

"I'm not going to blame the voters," Menendez said. "It's up to us, the candidates, to get a message that resonates and makes them want to go and support one or the other."

Polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Stay tuned to KSAT 12 and check back here for the latest election results.

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