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Video: Villarreal Launches First TV Ad In San Antonio Mayor's Race

Shelley Kofler
Texas Public Radio

Mike Villarreal has launched the first TV ads in the race for San Antonio mayor. 

It was an effort that took three days of taping in more than two dozen locations around the city.

On a sidewalk outside his campaign headquarters on South Alamo, Former State Rep. Mike Villarreal takes his position as the director shouts, “Mark it.  And action.”

On that cue Villarreal walks towards a camera crew and delivers his message. He says he has a plan to make San Antonio stronger: “strong education to build a quality workforce; strong small businesses to boost the economy; strong communities with lower property taxes.”

Villarreal will repeat this exercise at more than two dozen taping locations - near Hemisfair Plaza; the Alamo smokestacks at the Quarry; Woodlawn Lake; along busy highways, in front of businesses and in neighborhoods.  All while wearing a bluish shirt and khakis one time; a t-shirt and jeans another; various–colored polo shirts and a suit jacket.

The result is a 30-second ad that cuts quickly from scene to scene, showing Villarreal all over the city as talks about what he’ll do as mayor.

Credit Shelley Kofler / Texas Public Radio
Texas Public Radio
The director taping Mike Villarreal's campaign commercial lines up a shot.

He says his goal is to answer the most important question any candidate needs to nail, which is, “Why do you deserve this job?”

“And for me it goes to this single goal I am in pursuit of and that is to make San Antonio a city of opportunity,” Villarreal says.

Villarreal has been running for mayor for nearly a year, but communications director Greg Jefferson says some voters still don’t know him.  So communicating via the airwaves is crucial.

“Mike’s represented a good chunk of the city but it’s only a chunk.  We need to get the rest of the city familiar with Mike,” said Jefferson.

Villarreal is also airing a Spanish-language ad in which his parents, wife and children urge voters to elect him. 

Villarreal reported having $144,345 cash in his campaign fund on March 30. Consultants say that’s only enough to buy a little over a week’s worth of significant TV advertising in San Antonio.

His campaign, however, says Villarreal plans to stay on TV for nearly four weeks until the May 9 election.  Jefferson wouldn’t disclose the amount, but says Villarreal is loaning the campaign some of his own money so he can do that.

Mayoral opponent and former state senator Leticia Van de Putte reported having almost twice the amount of cash on hand last month. 

As she campaigned with police last Saturday, Van de Putte said her TV ads are ready to go.

“Done," she said about her commercials, which she plans to air "very soon." 

The other two leading candidates, current mayor Ivy Taylor and former county commissioner Tommy Adkisson, reported having less campaign funding, but Taylor says she also expects to buy ad time on TV.

Texas Public Radio produced the behind-the scenes in cooperation with NOWCastSA.

Following are the English and Spanish-language TV ads:

Shelley Kofler is Texas Public Radio’s news director. She joined the San Antonio station in December 2014 and leads a growing staff that produces two weekly programs; a daily talk show, news features, reports and online content. Prior to TPR, Shelley served as the managing editor and news director at KERA in Dallas-Fort Worth, and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.