Van de Putte, Taylor head to runoff in race for SA mayor

City Council Dist. 7 race also slated for runoff; Major charter amendments pass

By Van Darden - Managing Editor

SAN ANTONIO - The race for San Antonio mayor is not over yet.

The May 9 election ended in a runoff between Leticia Van de Putte and Mayor Ivy Taylor, with Van de Putte receiving 25,982 votes, or 30 percent of the vote, and Taylor receiving 24,245 votes, or 28 percent.

The two led a large field of candidates, including former Texas Rep. Mike Villarreal and former County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson, along with 10 other candidates.

Villarreal garnered 22,246 votes, or 26 percent of the vote. Adkisson had 8,344 votes, or 10 percent.

Van de Putte, a pharmacist, was a Texas senator and ran for lieutenant governor in November 2014. She lost to Dan Patrick, but immediately set her sights on the Alamo City's top office.

"I believe what our city is looking for and what our voters are looking for is real leadership," she told KSAT's Steve Spriester earlier in May. "The ability to join San Antonio together to work in a nonpartisan way, to focus on what is the greater good."

Saturday night, she said she and her team are ready for the runoff.

"We're going to go and reach every supporter, every vote," she said. "We're going to have an aggressive ground team (to reach) all sections of the community and use social media as we've always done and we'll have a very appropriate media campaign."

Taylor made history as San Antonio's first African American mayor when she was appointed to the position by the City Council in July. Her entrance into the May 9 election is her first citywide campaign.

Taylor also told Spriester that she believes her track record of making tough choices is what the city needs, pointing to sinking the VIA streetcar project, as one example.

She said Saturday that she, too, is ready for the runoff.

"I feel wonderful, excited and energized," she said. "I'm grateful to all of the supporters who helped me to get this far and I know that with their support, we'll prevail in June."

The runoff election will be held June 13.

City Council Dist. 7 race heads to runoff

Elsewhere in San Antonio, the City Council District 7 race is also heading for a runoff.

Incumbent Cris Medina failed to capture 50 percent or more of the vote. He received 4,688 votes, or 47 percent.

He will face Mari Aguirre Rodriguez, CEO of Opt In Experts, a marketing and public relations firm. She received 2,790 votes, or 28 percent.

Major charter amendments pass

San Antonio voters also weighed in on a number of charter amendments, including Charter Amendment No. 1, which concerns the controversial streetcar proposal.

Voters approved adding language to the charter that would require a public vote for any streetcar or light rail measure.

Voters also supported Charter Amendment No. 2, which increases the annual salaries of the San Antonio mayor and City Council members.

Before, City Council members made $20 per meeting, for a maximum annual salary of $1,040. The mayor received an additional $3,000 annual stipend.

Since the measure passed, council members would receive salaries equal to the median income of San Antonio -- $45,722 for council members and $61,725 for the mayor.

The money would come from the existing city budget and not taxes.

Voters also approved Charter Amendment No. 3, which amends the charter so that vacancies in the office of the mayor and City Council would be treated the same. If a vacancy occurs with more than 120 days remaining in the unexpired term of the mayor or a council member, a special election will be held to fill the vacancy. If fewer than 120 days remain, the City Council will appoint someone to fill the vacant seat. The proposition also allows the City Council to appoint a temporary representative until a special election is held.

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