May 4 is a national holiday for those who celebrate it as Star Wars Day. But in a county not so far-far away, the day is reserved for local municipal elections. Visions of grandeur have awakened for multiple candidates appearing in some races, while other contests are as sleepy as a Tatooine desert town on Boonta Eve.
Gonzales suddenly boasts a most impressive display at the top of their ticket, as four will vie for mayor of the city. Incumbent Connie Kacir, who is finishing her freshman term, will be joined by three men looking to force themselves into a runoff or outright win. They are Lorenzo Hernandez, Bob Burchard, and Rob Brown.
In Gonzales, the top candidate must receive 50 percent of the vote to win outright. If no candidate reaches that point, a runoff will be set with another round of voting for the top two vote getters to find the chosen one.
The same day, residents will be asked to decide 11 measures that could change the city's charter. Click here for the story on the charter amendments.
At the Gonzales Independent School District, places 1 and 2 for board of trustees were up for election, but only longtime incumbents Gloria Torres and Justin Schwausch filed for the spots and thus will return to their seats unopposed.
Up the road a parsec in Waelder, the city council will see a new member though no election will be necessary. Incumbents Michael Harris and Valentino “Tino” Hernandez filed to run again, while incumbent Samuel “Rocky” Quintero did not. However, former councilman Curtis Hadnot Jr. decided to give it another go, effectively filling Quintero's spot. With no other resistance, the three will be declared unopposed and the city election canceled.
The Waelder Independent School District will see competition as three candidates will run for two seats; no more, no less. The two three-year terms expiring are for Avery Williams and Troy Sullivan, who have filed for re-election. The challenger is Anita Torres Mar, who will be running for one of the places. The seats are at-large, and require a plurality of votes, meaning the two receiving the most ballots will ascend to the board.
Down on the county's outer rim, the City of Nixon has an official podrace on their hands with five council candidates gunning for three spots. Returning are incumbents Joseph “Joey” Bjorgaard, Mary Ann Fathree, and Justin La Fleur. They will be joined by Michael Scherrer and Steve Aguirre. The top three on Election Day will be sworn in to the city council.
Meanwhile, a lack of competition on the Nixon-Smiley CISD Board of Trustees means that the scheduled election will be canceled. Incumbents Jimmy Newman, Mark Mendez, and Lester Warzecha filed for re-election and did not see any competition.
And in Yoda-sized Smiley, the races are strong in this one, with seven candidates competing for three city council places. Incumbents Linda Warzecha and Elisa Douglas will be joined by Teresa South, Diana Pena Moreno, Jason A. Montoya, Michael K. Garrott Jr., and Deborah Pena. Councilman H. Wayne South chose not to run again. The top three winners will go on to serve a two-year term.
It should be noted that this municipal election should not be confused with the special March 16 City of Gonzales tax rollback election. So, May the 4th be with you as you decide which candidate might represent you best.