With the results of Tuesday’s elections, voters in Edinburg and La Joya have signaled a desire for change in city leadership.
Texas Scorecard previously reported on investigations surrounding officials in both cities and their effects on the upcoming elections.
Edinburg officials, including Mayor Richard Molina, are charged with election fraud and vote harvesting. Candidates for city council framed the November 5 elections as a referendum on corruption. Voters saw it that way, too, as they voted to replace the Place 4 incumbent with former police chief David White and deny Mayor Molina’s ally Deanna “Coach” Dominguez the majority needed to avoid a runoff for Place 3.
Dominguez received 35 percent of the vote and will be running against Juan “Johnny” Garcia, who received 33 percent of the vote. Following the election, Garcia announced he received the endorsement of defeated Place 3 candidate Carlos Jasso. Should Garcia prevail in the runoff, voters will have sent two new representatives who campaigned on restoring transparency to a city commission currently in turmoil.
In La Joya, a city under investigation for a corrupt land deal, Mayor Fito Salinas and his allies were all defeated in vote counts, but none of their opponents received a majority. The races for mayor, Place 2, and Place 4 on the city commission will all be headed to runoffs at a date yet to be determined.
The “We Are La Joya” team, the challengers who mounted races in opposition to the incumbents, campaigned against corruption and for bringing transparency and fresh faces to the city. Members of the slate—Isidro Casanova, candidate for mayor; Laura Mendiola Macias, Place 4 candidate; and Roger Hernandez, Place 2 candidate—all received nearly enough votes to avoid runoffs but fell just short. Hernandez was only one vote shy of winning outright.
The slate is now set up for a direct challenge against Mayor Salinas and his allies for Place 2 and Place 4, Daniel Flores Jr. and Dalia Arriaga.