SAN ANTONIO – Read analysis from the forum here.
Democrat Christine Hortick and Republican Trish DeBerry faced off on the issues during a livestreamed debate on KSAT.com, moderated by KSAT 12 anchor Steve Spriester. Northside Neighborhood for Organized Development helped organize the event.
With outgoing Precinct 3 Commissioner Kevin Wolff, a Republican, leaving the seat vacant after three terms, the race is likely to be one of the most competitive in Bexar County.
DeBerry is the founder of marketing agency The DeBerry Group, a former TV anchor and ran an ultimately unsuccessful mayoral campaign in 2009 against Julian Castro as Phil Hardberger reached his term limit.
Hortick, a political newcomer, is an attorney who runs her own practice and once served as a congressional aide to the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy. She currently serves as the president of the Bexar County Children’s Court Attorney Association.
WATCH: Profile on Democrat Christine Hortick
The North Side precinct stretches west to east from Bandera Road to Wetmore Road and from the northern perimeter of Loop 410 to the Bexar County line (see map below or find out which precinct you live in here).
Precinct 3, the most affluent precinct in the county, has in recent years been the only stronghold for conservatives on the Democratic-controlled commissioner’s court.
While Wolff won in 2016 with 58.6% of the vote, turnout is expected to be at record levels in 2020. Generally, higher turnout in Texas benefits Democrats.
Other competitive, Republican-held seats that overlap the precinct — like Texas House District 121 or Congressional District 21 — are being targeted by state and congressional Democrats and could help Hortick turnout left-leaning voters.
WATCH: Profile on Republican Trish DeBerry
While some political observers believe that President Trump’s polarizing tenure could cause problems for down-ballot Republicans, no straight-ticket option this year might help mitigate the issue for candidates like DeBerry.
DeBerry won the GOP nomination for the seat over Tom Rickhoff during the July runoff election, securing 55 percentage points. Hortick won the nomination outright in the March primary.
Only two women have ever held a seat on Bexar County Commissioner’s Court, according to the Express-News, whose editorial board in February endorsed Hortick.
Editor’s note: This article initially stated that DeBerry ran against Phil Hardberger in 2009. He had reached his term limit at that point and was not on the ballot.