Manny Pelaez already hinting at 2025 mayoral run

District 8 Councilman was sworn into his fourth and final term June 1

Pictured is Councilman Manny Pelaez. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – Less than a week after being sworn in for his final term, a North Side councilman is already hinting at a 2025 run for mayor.

In a “Letter to District 8 Constituents” email from his campaign Wednesday afternoon, Councilman Manny Pelaez wrote, “During the campaign, many of you asked if my name will appear at the top of the ticket in the next election cycle.”

“That’s an important question and it merits an answer,” he continued. “In order to provide you an answer, I first want to start a conversation with you and San Antonians throughout our city about the priorities and issues that matter to you.”

Though he did not definitively announce an intent to run, Pelaez included a link to a survey with questions about four “pillars” such as “prosperity and opportunity for all” and “safety.”

The councilman wrote that “the answer to these questions and the direction we take this conversation is entirely up to you.”

Pelaez’s city council campaign manager Laura Barberena said an identical letter was mailed out to District 8 constituents on May 18 with a QR code for the survey. She added that he penned the letter himself and not his campaign team.

“He wrote that letter himself. It’s not something his campaign team wrote.  This isn’t a cynical calculated chess move. He’s genuinely hungry for an authentic conversation with San Antonians from all four corners of the city. Going forward, you should anticipate seeing him host events in all the council districts over the next two years. "

With Mayor Ron Nirenberg terming out in 2025 after his fourth, two-year term, the mayor’s seat will be wide open for the first time since Phil Hardberger left in 2009 when there was a two-term limit.

Pelaez’s interest in the city’s top job is not a surprise. He is one of several sitting council members who have been rumored to be eying the golden opportunity. However, he appears to be the first to publicly entertain the idea.

He is also doing so before the current election cycle is even over. The District 1 and District 7 council races still have to be settled in Saturday’s runoff election.

Manny Pelaez was sworn in for his fourth and final term as the District 8 councilman on Jun. 1 (KSAT)

Former Nirenberg campaign strategist Kelton Morgan thought it was a strange move for Pelaez to only hint at his intentions at this stage.

“If there’s such a thing as being too coy too early, Councilman Pelaez nailed it,” Morgan said in a text.

The only advantage at getting into the race early would come after Pelaez actually announces he’s running, the political consultant said. Once Pelaez files paperwork to switch his campaign to a mayoral one, Morgan said the limit on individual contributions would go from $500 to $1,000.

Pelaez is an attorney with a business and police-friendly reputation. He is also known for his outspoken opinions during council discussions and his advocacy against domestic violence.

He’s currently the chairman of the Economic and Workforce Development Committee and the co-chair of the Intergovernmental Relations Committee. He also serves on the Public Safety and the Audit and Accountability Committees.

Pelaez won 70% of the vote while facing one challenger, Cesario Garcia, in his May 6 election.

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Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.