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Richard Cardenas Challenging For City Council District 5

South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce

South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce board member Richard Cardenas has announced his bid for City Council District 5.

The San Antonio native officially announced his bid for the seat Thursday at the Guadalupe Arts Cultural Center on the city’s near West Side. Closing his remarks before supporters, Cardenas said, “Let’s revive district 5,” which will be his main battle cry.

Cardenas, 52, criticized current District 5 Councilman David Medina’s experience and leadership abilities.

"If you don't have a master plan, you lose vision and that's what Medina fails to see,” said Cardenas, who is a first-time politician.

Cardenas wasn’t always sure of making a bid for office, telling supporters he turned to his faith and family to evaluate the decision. He said he realized people in the district need a strong representative at city hall.

"During my exploration I realized there were a couple of serious issues,” he said at the podium. “Number one was total disrespect of the office of city council for district 5."

Cardenas attended Lanier High School and graduated from the Alamo Colleges.

Coincidentally, at the same time as Cardenas’ kick-off announcement, the city council was busy debating the controversial rate hike for San Antonio Water System customers. Cardenas said he does not support the measure.

"My district cannot afford an increase. I'm sorry. These residents in district 5 cannot afford it,” he said.

Although the 8.4 percent increase passed the council vote, Medina was one of three members who voted against the increase.

At a recent event, Medina said he had not officially announced his intentions regarding a re-election. He said he was interested in another term, and would make that known sometime this month.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.