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Government/Politics

San Antonio Mayoral Campaigns Predict A Close Finish

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San Antonio voters decide Saturday whether Ivy Taylor or Leticia Van de Putte will be the city's next mayor.

The candidates for San Antonio mayor are pulling out all the stops as they push to get their voters to the polls Saturday, which is Election Day. 

Consultants for interim Mayor Ivy Taylor and former state Sen. Leticia both say the race is close.

Thursday, at Leticia Van de Putte’s West Side headquarters, the candidate’s sisters and mother joined several dozen volunteers as they dialed likely supporters on their cell phones and reminded them to vote.   

Campaign manager Christian Archer said the final, get-out-the vote push includes another round of TV ads, direct mail and an army of volunteer

“We’re going to exceed over 500 volunteers.  Everything from phone banking to email blasting to block walking,” he said.  “It’s gonna be close, but we have a pretty solid plan to get out the vote.”   

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Credit Shelley Kofler / Texas Public Radio
Mayoral Candidate Leticia Van de Putte and her mother with supporters at the campaign's headquarters

Ivy Taylor’s campaign manager said her block walkers were knocking on doors all across town.  Justin Hollis said the Taylor camp feels good after eight days of heavier than usual, early voting.  The biggest turnout was in North Side council districts with conservative voters who may favor Taylor.

“We feel confident we have the edge going into Election Day. Based on the early vote there is nothing that concerns me.  I think we’ve done everything we need to do,” Hollis said.

Van de Putte’s camp is spinning the early vote a little differently.  About a third or those voting in this runoff race didn’t cast ballots on May 9, in the mayoral election that reduced the field of 14 to two. 

Archer is especially excited that over half the first-time voters were women and most of the women, like Van de Putte, were Hispanic.

“No big city in America has ever elected a Latina mayor and I think a lot of Hispanic women, I think a lot of women take a lot of pride in that,” said Archer.

“That doesn’t mean they’re voting for Van de Putte, or that Hispanic women are a monolithic block of voters for Leticia Van de Putte who is Hispanic,” Hollis shot back.   

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Credit Shelley Kofler / Texas Public Radio
Mayoral candidate Ivy Taylor takes a break to have lunch with her daughter Morgan.

  

After completing a day that included a lengthy council meeting and a press conference to announce a new corporate relocation, Taylor said her message to undecided voters is one of experience. 

“I’ve been doing the job and doing it well.  I’m one whose been working in various roles at city hall; who has the knowledge and experience to work on behalf of San Antonians to address the big issues; to think from a long-term perspective,” Taylor said.  

Van de Putte’s message is also one of experience- a 24-year record as a member of the Texas Legislature where she says she’s passed measures that have benefited San Antonio.

“If we find someone that is still not quite convinced, then I talk about leadership.  I talk about proven results, and how they need a city hall leader who can bring people together, who can work with everyone,” Van de Putte said.

San Antonio residents will get the first inkling of who will be their next mayor at 7:00 pm Saturday.  That’s when early voting tallies are released.  Both sides seem to believe Taylor will be ahead in early numbers.  Van de Putte’s camp says her strength will be on Election Day.  Her campaign believes that if she’s within eight points of Taylor in early voting she has a good chance of winning.  

Texas Public Radio will begin live election night coverage for the mayoral and city council races at 7:00 p.m. Saturday on KSTX 89.1 FM