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Villarreal Formally Announces Mayoral Run, Begins ‘SA Strong’ Campaign

Ryan Loyd
TPR News

The worst kept secret in San Antonio in the last few weeks is that State Representative Mike Villarreal wants to be the city's next mayor. He made that official Sunday by kicking off his campaign at Maverick Park, amidst a sizable gathering of supporters, despite the cold and rain.

They held aloft signs that said, “SA Strong,” which is Villarreal's mantra for the six months leading up to the May election. From the podium, he vowed to improve infrastructure and focus on economics as “the first San Antonio mayor with an economics background.” Villarreal said that San Antonio needed to prepare for future growth and it was “All about putting San Antonio first.”

One of his supporters, meanwhile, decided this was definitely a time to mix “religion” and politics. That famous Spurs fan — Spurs Jesus — said he “likes Mike.”

Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News
TPR News
Mike Villarreal shakes hands after his speech, where he vowed to improve infrastructure, parks, traffic, housing, and public transportation. He said he wants to be the first mayor of San Antonio "with an economics background."

“I'm all about helping out our community, and doing everything I can to use this popularity that I've grown here in San Antonio to make a difference," said Spurs Jesus in his long, white robe, sporting championship rings and a Spurs hat.

Villarreal joked that he ditched his 12-page single spaced speech to just say this: Parks and public transit is important, military ties should be strengthened, the city needs better housing, and he wanted to do something about the traffic situation. He spoke of his parents' sacrifice, noting they had big aspirations for him.

“This is why I'm running,” he said. “I want our city to be not just a great place to raise children, but a city where our children find opportunity.” You could almost hear his supporters say, “amen to that.”