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On First Day Of Early Voting, David Medina Warned About Voting Violation

Ryan Loyd

Now that early voting is underway, San Antonians will see a barrage of candidate signs popping up like spring flowers at polling locations across the city.

In addition to the campaign signs at the Collins Garden Library on District 5’s North Park Street, campaign volunteers to some of the six candidates in the race to represent the city's near west side are welcoming people to the polls.

"Vote David Medina!" could be heard as one man shouted the words proudly in an effort to get the incumbent, David Medina, re-elected.

Andres Ramos, a proponent for Ricardo Briones, said Medina is not fit to serve.

"It's time to replace David Medina, you know he's had several terms on council," he said.

But as volunteers yelled out to people in the parking lot who they feel should sit in the District 5 council seat, one of Medina's opponents, Shirley Gonzales, said Medina had actually gone inside wearing a shirt with a logo on it.

According to the Bexar County Elections office, a presiding judge at the polling site asked Medina to leave the library after receiving a call from the office. Gonzales said she wasted no time in reporting the incident. 

"We're not allowed to go in there with any logo," Gonzales said. "We have several volunteers out here today and we're not allowed to go inside with our shirts on. However, he [Medina] seemed to not have to follow the rules and went in with his logo shirt. The rest of us are being respectful and trying to follow the rules."

The elections office said no further action would be taken, and the presiding judge on site took care of the issue when it was reported.

Meanwhile outside, Medina’s campaign volunteers, along with volunteers from the other campaigns, continued calling out their candidate of choice’s name like a pep rally. At times, they competed for who could shout the loudest.

Gina Galaviz, a Medina campaign spokesperson,said the councilman has made it a tradition to help elderly and disabled voters get to the voting locations.

Galaviz said Medina had an orange shirt on with the city seal; an official shirt, she said, that Medina wears to events and press conferences.

Medina was helping seniors at the Palm Heights Community Center, followed by Collins Garden, before he had to make a Monday morning event shortly after helping the seniors vote.

Medina perhaps didn't realize he had the shirt on while helping the seniors into the library, said Galaviz.

Aside from the race for mayor, District 5 has the most candidates of any other council district. Candidates include incumbent Medina, Gonzales, Briones, Frank Ramirez, Richard Cardenas, and John Carlos Garcia.

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