By Ben Olivo, Raul Plata, Noah Alcala Bach & Gaige Davila
Late Saturday, the City Council incumbents running for re-election all held commanding leads and appeared to secure victories. Three of the races will be decided in a June 8 runoff election.
The contentious mayor’s race involving Mayor Ron Nirenberg and District 6 Councilman Greg Brockhouse is also headed to a runoff. Read our report of the mayor's race here.
In District 1, Councilman Roberto Treviño, who’s held the seat since 2014, received 59.3 percent of the vote over a pack of eight challengers. His strongest competitor, hotelier Justin Holley, received 17.7 percent, a distant second for someone who looked to really challenge Treviño this election.
It was Treviño who, just a few weeks ago, turned a council vote on the San Antonio International Airport’s concession contract into a national controversy when he moved to exclude Chick-fil-A from consideration. The issue blanketed all races leading up to election night. During that time, Treviño doubled down on his stance against the fast food chain for its “legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior,” according to his campaign website.
“I stand by my vote, I represent my district passionately and I make no apologies,” Treviño told the Heron Saturday night during a campaign party at Big Bob’s Burgers. “We represented our district and I think it’s evident in today’s election.”
The eight-candidate District 2 race was dwindled down to two—former councilman Keith A. Toney (29.2 percent) and political newbie Jada L. Andrews-Sullivan (21.2 percent).
The East Side council seat is being vacated by current Councilman Art Hall.
Toney’s strategy for the runoff will be to “work like hell, stay in touch with the people like we’ve always done,” he said. “You’re there for them, they’ll be there for you. They understand that experience matters.”
Andrews-Sullivan, a disabled veteran, said she would strive from an improved “connectivity with the other candidates that ran for this seat, to build a cohesive unit between the rest of us, to actually bring forth a betterment and change for District 2.”
Artist Denise Gutierrez-Homer appeared on her way toward finishing a close third at 19.3 percent.
On the near West Side, District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, who was looking to serve a fourth and final term, appeared to safely coast to victory (65.6 percent) over three challengers, most notably small business owner Anthony Gres (26.6 percent).
“I really want to spend my next two years making sure the people feel the impact of the equity budget,” Gonzales told the Heron from her campaign gathering Saturday night at event space Macias. “I want to spend more time with workforce, senior services, child abuse prevention, domestic violence prevention.”
In District 4, a seat available because of the departure of council elder Rey Saldaña, Adriana Rocha Garcia, a professor at Our Lady of the Lake University, came up short of winning the seat outright with 47.3 percent of the vote. She will face Johnny Arredondo, who challenged Saldaña in 2017, who finished second with 21.3 percent.
In District 6, the seat Brockhouse is leaving to pursue the mayor’s seat, Melissa Cabello Havrda (46.9 percent) and Andy Greene (35.1 percent) are headed to a runoff.
District 3 Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran (58.1 percent), District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval (68.3 percent), District 8 Councilman Manny Pelaez (58.3 percent), District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry (63.7 percent) all cruised to victories. District 10 Councilman John Courage, a Democrat whose win in the conservative district two years ago came as a surprise to many political insiders, secured a solid 53.6 percent victory.