Runoff Election Recap: Four New Representatives To Join San Antonio City Council
San Antonio voters across five city council districts turned out in small numbers for the 2021 runoff election, which featured multiple heated races and resulted in two ousted incumbents.
Only one of three incumbents in a runoff won, which means four new faces will join the council, including its first-ever openly gay man — Jalen McKee Rodriguez, who beat Jada Andrews-Sullivan to become District 2's seventh representative in the same amount of years.
District 1 incumbent Roberto Trevino, who was running for a fourth and final term, was instead ousted by environmental activist Mario Bravo by a 54 to 46% upset in the race to represent San Antonio's urban core.
District 3's victor Phyllis Viagran will take over the seat previously held by her sister Rebecca Viagran, who departed after serving the maximum amount of allowable council terms. She beat opponent Tomas Uresti by more than 60% of the runoff vote.
On the city's West Side, progressive Teri Castillo won the District 5 seat with 58% of the vote. Her opponent Rudy Lopez, who had been endorsed by outgoing representative Shirley Gonzales, earned 42% of support.
Nearly half of the total number of San Antonians who voted in the runoff election were District 9 residents. Self-proclaimed progressive John Courage will keep his seat representing a typically GOP-friendly Northside district after defeating Patrick Von Dohlen by nearly 8%.
These results will set the course for the city's next four years including the comeback from the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19, the ramping up of a green economy, and the allocation of services and resources in areas of high need.
The new, left-leaning council will also likely take a strong hand in police accountability.
- Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News Metro columnist and host of the "Puro Politics" podcast
- Joey Palacios, local government reporter for TPR News
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*This interview was recorded on Monday, June 7.