The races to watch in Bexar County for 2022 elections

These are the key races at the county, state and federal level for the San Antonio area

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With only a few months before primary elections, candidates across Bexar County are ramping up their campaigns.

Several consequential county offices are up for grabs, including Bexar County Judge and district attorney.

Early voting for the primary begins on Feb. 14, with election day slated for March 1. The deadline to register to vote is Jan. 31.

To check your voter registration status in Bexar County, click here. To find out which precinct you live in, click here.

There is a chance the election dates could change pending the outcome of lawsuits that have been filed against the state over redistricting maps.

Here’s a breakdown of the Bexar County, Texas and federal races to watch.


Bexar County Judge

  • Democratic candidates: Ivalis Meza Gonzalez, Ina Minjarez, Gerard Ponce, Peter Sakai
  • Republican candidates: Nathan Buchanan, Trish DeBerry

Analysis: After a lifetime of public service, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff announced last year that he would not seek reelection for the county’s top office.

Wolff, who has been county judge since 2001, made the announcement in October with more than a year left on his term. That way, “good candidates” would have time to launch their campaigns, he said.

The departure has not only attracted current and former elected officials, but a few outsiders, too.

On the Democratic ticket, mayoral Chief of Staff Ivaliz Meza Gonzalez, state Rep. Ina Minjarez, former mayoral candidate Gerard Ponce and former district court judge Peter Sakai are vying for the party’s nomination.

On the Republican ticket, there are only two candidates — small business owner and licensed peace officer Nathan Buchanan and Bexar County Pct. 3 Commissioner Trish DeBerry. DeBerry threw her hat in the ring just hours before the filing deadline, making the decision to resign from the Pct. 3 post to run for the county judge position.

Bexar County voters have not elected a Republican as county judge since 1998.

Read more about the candidates’ platforms here.


Bexar County District Attorney

  • Democratic candidate: Joe Gonzales
  • Republican candidates: Meredith Chacon, Marc LaHood

Analysis: Joe Gonzales is running for reelection, seeking his second term as Bexar County District Attorney.

Though Gonzales has been able to tout certain victories, like the successful implementation of the county’s cite and release program, other challenges remain, like the growing backlog in domestic violence cases.

The district attorney’s office has also been hindered with communication issues between prosecutors and law enforcement, leading to delays in at least one high-profile murder case.

Gonzales’ primary race is uncontested, but two familiar names are seeking to clinch the Republican nomination and challenge him in November.

Meredith Chacon, a former Bexar County prosecutor, has already taken aim at Gonzales’ policies. Marc LaHood, brother of former Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood, is also running in the Republican primary.

Marc Lahood is an attorney and a partner of the family-run firm LaHood Law, specializing in criminal defense, personal injury law, probate issues and family law.

Read more: Who’s running for district attorney, district judge and county court judge in 2022


Bexar County Commissioner Pct. 3

Bexar County Precinct 3 (KSAT/Henry Keller)

DeBerry’s decision to run for county judge triggered the state’s resign-to-run law and opens up a new spot on the county commissioners court.

Wolff has appointed former appeals court judge Marialyn Barnard as interim commissioner, the voters in November will decide on who will fill out the rest of the term until 2024.

Rather than have candidates run for the county commissioner post in the primary, state law dictates that each county political party will nominate a candidate. Those candidates will go head-to-head on the November ballot.

The parties have yet to decide on their nominations but nonetheless, the race will be an important one to keep an eye on.

Read more about the process of picking the next Pct. 3 county commissioner here.


Bexar County Commissioner Pct. 4

Bexar County Precinct 4 (KSAT/Henry Keller)
  • Democratic candidate: Tommy Calvert
  • Republican candidate: Larry Ricketts

Analysis: Nominations are all but guaranteed for Democrat Tommy Calvert and Republican Larry Ricketts, who are running unopposed for Bexar County Commissioner Pct. 4.

Calvert has held the seat since 2014, seeking a third term in office this November. Ricketts is seeking public office again after losing to Kathryn Brown for the precinct’s constable office in 2020.

Roughly 500,000 residents live in the precinct, which covers eastern Bexar County. This race, along with the county judge and Pct. 3 county commissioner races that will be decided in the November general election, could change the makeup of the court for the next four years.


Governor

  • Democratic candidates: Inocencio Barrientez, Michael Cooper, Joy Diaz, Beto O’Rourke, Rich Wakeland
  • Republican candidates: Greg Abbott, Paul Belew, Danny Harrison, Kandy Kaye Horn, Don Huffines, Rick Perry, Chad Prather, Allen West

Analysis: Despite each party’s crowded primary race, the governor’s race is likely to end up as a battle between former Congressman Beto O’Rourke and current Governor Greg Abbott.

Both candidates have raised millions of dollars over the last six months and have already begun campaigning against each other.

Before that, though, Abbott and O’Rourke will need to win the March primaries.

Abbott is facing stiffer competition in the primary than O’Rourke is. The governor is competing with former state Sen. Don Huffines and former Florida congressman and former Texas GOP Chair Allen West, among others.


Attorney General

  • Democratic candidates: Mike Fields, Rochelle Mercedes Garza, Joe Jaworski, Lee Merritt, S. “TBone” Raynor
  • Republican candidates: George P. Bush, Louie Gohmert, Eva Guzman, Ken Paxton

With an ongoing criminal indictment against him and a whistleblower complaint that is being investigated by the FBI, Attorney General Ken Paxton faces a rocky road toward reelection.

The attorney general’s race has attracted several high-profile Republican challengers to Paxton’s tenure, including Texas General Land Office Commissioner George P. Bush, Congressman Louie Gohmert and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman.

The Democrats also have a crowded race, featuring Mike Fields, Rochelle Mercedes Garza, Joe Jaworski, Lee Merritt and S. “TBone” Raynor.


Texas House District 118

Texas House District 118 (KSAT)
  • Democratic candidate: Frank Ramirez
  • Republican candidate: John Lujan

Analysis: In November, following the retirement of Rep. Leo Pacheco, Republicans celebrated the flipped seat in House District 118 after John Lujan edged out Frank Ramirez, winning 51% of the vote. Lujan will be representing the district for his second time after a short stint in the office in 2016.

The victory is short-lived, as the two will rematch in November after uncontested primary races in March.

The House seat will be a good barometer gauging Republicans’ progress with reaching Hispanic voters in Central and South Texas.


Texas House District 122

Texas House District 122 (KSAT)
  • Democratic candidates: Angi Aramburu
  • Republican candidates: Adam Blanchard, Elisa Chan, Mark Daniel Cuthbert, Mark Dorazio

Analysis: After serving in the Texas House for more than a decade, Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) has decided not to seek reelection.

Larson had become increasingly outspoken against his own party throughout the previous legislative sessions as his party passed controversial bills on voting and abortion. Most recently, Larson expressed disappointment in how Republicans handled redistricting.

Many potential successors are lining up for the reliably Republican House seat, which covers parts of northern Bexar County. GOP candidates running in the primary include San Antonio businessman Adam Blanchard, former San Antonio City Council member Elisa Chan, banking executive Mark Daniel Cuthbert and Mark Dorazio, a former Bexar County GOP Chair.

On the Democratic ticket, there is only one candidate — personal trainer Angi Aramburu.


Texas House District 124

Texas House District 124 (KSAT)
  • Democratic candidates: Josey Garcia, Steven Gilmore, Gerald Brian Lopez
  • Republican candidate: Johnny Arredondo

Analysis: Texas House District 124, which covers western Bexar County, is sure to have new representation after Rep. Ina Minjarez decided to pursue the county judge office.

Josey Garcia, a leader of local grassroots group Reliable Revolutionaries; Steven Gilmore, an attorney; and Gerald Brian Lopez, self-employed; are running for the Democratic nomination.

On the Republican side, Johnny Arredondo, who is retired, is running unopposed.

The seat is likely to go to the Democratic candidate who wins the primary.


Congressional District 15

Congressional District 15 (KSAT)
  • Democratic candidates: Eliza Alvarado, Julio Garza, Ruben Ramirez, John Villarreal Rigney, Vanessa Stephanie Tijerina, Michelle Vallejo
  • Republican candidates: Sara Canady, Aizar Cavazos, Vangela Churchill, Monica De La Cruz, Mauro Garza, Angela Juarez, Ryan Krause, John Lerma, Steve Schmuker Jr.

Analysis: With Congressman Vicente Gonzalez running in the newly redrawn Congressional District 34, the voters of Congressional District 15 are sure to elect a new representative this November.

Redistricting made the traditionally Democratic district more competitive, giving Republicans a better chance to flip the seat. Under the current maps, Gonzalez only narrowly won the district against Monica De La Cruz, who is running for the seat again.

The other Republican candidates running for the nomination are Justice of the Peace Sara Canady, retired Border Patrol agent Aizar Cavazos, assistant principal Vangela Churchill, former congressional candidate Mauro Garza, self-employed Angela Juarez, self-employed Ryan Krause, retiree John Lerma and professor Steve Schmuker Jr.

The Democratic candidates in the race include educator Eliza Alvarado, self-employed Julio Garza, attorney Ruben Ramriez, attorney John Villarreal Rigney, Vanessa Stephanie Tijerina, and Michelle Vallejo.


Congressional District 23

Congressional District 23 (KSAT)
  • Democratic candidates: Priscilla Golden, John Lira
  • Republican candidates: Alma Arredondo-Lynch, Alìa Garcia, Tony Gonzales

Analysis: Generally viewed as one of the most competitive congressional districts in Texas, both parties will be eyeing this seat.

Rep. Tony Gonzales kept the seat Republican when he beat Air Force veteran Gina Ortiz Jones in 2020, and hopes to be re-elected.

Before clinching the nomination, though, he has to campaign against Alma Arredondo-Lynch, a conservative dentist and rancher, and Alìa Garcia.

On the Democratic ticket, social worker Priscilla Golden will face John Lira, a Marine.


Congressional District 28

Congressional District 28 (KSAT)
  • Democratic candidates: Tannya Judith Benavides, Jessica Cisneros, Henry Cuellar
  • Republican candidates: Ed Cabrera, Steven Fowler, Cassy Garcia, Eric Hohman, Willie Vasquez Ng, Rolando Rodriguez, Sandra Whitten

Analysis: Though Congressman Henry Cuellar has been elected to Congressional District 28 since 2005, he saw his most serious challenge in the 2020 Democratic primary.

Progressives organized against the moderate Democrat, backing immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros. Cuellar edged out Cisneros, winning 51.8% of the vote in the primary.

This year’s rematch between the two candidates was shaken up in January after the FBI raided Cuellar’s home in Laredo amid an active investigation.

A third candidate — teacher and organizer Tannya Judith Benavides — is also running in the Democratic primary.

Republicans are also hoping to put up a competitive race in the district, as they have made progress with Latino voters in South Texas in 2020. The crowded GOP primary features rancher Ed Cabrera, combat veteran Lt. Col. Steven Fowler, political staffer Cassy Garcia, management analyst Eric Hohman, former Bexar County Sheriff candidate Willie Vasquez Ng, self-employed Rolando Rodriguez and youth and preschool director Sandra Whitten.


Congressional District 35

Congressional District 35 (KSAT)
  • Democratic candidates: Greg Casar, Eddie Rodriguez, Carla-Joy Sisco, Rebecca Viagran
  • Republican candidates: Bill Condict, Jenai Aragona, Marilyn Jackson, Alejandro Ledezma, Dan McQueen, Sam Montoya, Asa George Kent Palagi, Michael Rodriguez, Dan Sawatzki, Jennifer Sundt.

Analysis: This reliably Democratic district will have new representation after redistricting drew Congressman Lloyd Doggett out of it. Instead, Doggett will run for Congressional District 37, one of the state’s new seats.

Four Democrats are hoping to succeed him, three of whom have held office before. Austin City Council Member Greg Casar, State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, consultant Carla-Joy Sisco, and former San Antonio City Council Member Rebecca Viagran are vying for the primary.

The Republican primary, meanwhile, is an even more crowded race with 10 candidates running for the party’s nomination. They include program scheduler Bill Condict, realtor Jenai Aragona, insurance agent Marilyn Jackson, construction worker Alejandro Ledezma, former 37-day mayor of Corpus Christi Dan McQueen, reporter Sam Montoya, soldier and entrepreneur Asa George Kent Palagi, household manager Michael Rodriguez, retired U.S. Air Force service member Dan Sawatzki and attorney Jennifer Sundt.

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