Early voting to pick the San Antonio mayor and numerous other candidates starts Monday. The elections are too important to ignore, and we urge registered voters to cast ballots.
The May 9 ballot is a fairly short multiple-choice quiz: Who do voters want to lead their city and school governments? And what do San Antonio voters think of a few ballot issues such as giving City Council members a salary?
Those and other big questions loom unanswered until all the ballots are counted on election night.
For those just tuning in to the roughly 6-month-long municipal election campaign, here are several things to watch for in the upcoming election returns. Early voting is already underway.
6) Composition of the council. Mayor Ivy Taylor and all 10 council members — many of them relative newcomers — face election opposition. Several incumbents may be shoo-ins, but a few others including Taylor are vulnerable, creating a potential for runoff elections and more turnover.
5) Who will Republicans turn to? Party affiliations provide a clear marker for many voters, but city elections are nonpartisan, making it harder for some voters to figure out which candidate aligns with their views. Three of the leading candidates are Democrats, so Taylor, who’s never run in a partisan race, could be a GOP favorite.
4) Voter appetite for higher taxes. In two proposition on San Antonio ballots, small sales-tax proposals would fuel Edwards Aquifer protection efforts and linear park development, but even worthwhile and badly needed projects draw perennial opposition from tax foes.
3) Voter appetite for council pay. Compensation for council members of $20 per meeting was set in the 1950s. Periodic attempts to provide a $45,722 annual salary for members’ time-consuming commitment have failed. It’s hard to tell whether this time outcome would be any different.
2) Status quo at Southside ISD? The incumbent board is opposed by a slate of five challengers critical of the district’s administration and academic performance. But change does not come easily in this troubled jurisdiction.
1) Last two standing. San Antonio has 14 mayoral candidates. The campaign began at least six months ago for many of them. The top contenders have engaged in at least 46 mayoral forums. Yet, no clear frontrunner has emerged. A runoff is viewed as a certainty. But which two candidates will qualify? The four leading candidates — Taylor, Mike Villarreal, Leticia Van de Putte and Tommy Adkisson — all believe they’ve got a shot. Check back around 10 p.m. on May 9.
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