A new mayor and several new councilmen take the reins in San Antonio after Saturday’s runoffs, which saw several incumbents ushered out.
Without a doubt the biggest upset of the evening: incumbent Mayor Ivy Taylor was defeated by former Councilman Ron Nirenberg in Saturday’s runoff by nearly 10,000 votes – pulling 45.41 percent to Nirenberg’s 54.59 percent. Nirenberg is a far-left Democrat endorsed by former Mayor Julian Castro, borne out of and fully backed by the San Antonio establishment.
In District 1, downtown incumbent Roberto Treviño was able to fend off his challenger, attorney Michael Montaño, by about 400 votes. The only other runoff election which featured an incumbent – District 2 – did not see similar results. Incumbent Alan Warrick was defeated by challenger William ‘Cruz’ Shaw, who won with 56.36 percent of the vote.
District 9 – a historically conservative district – saw a showdown between two liberal candidates after too many Republicans split the vote in the first round. John Courage – a longtime Democrat activist who unsuccessfully challenged Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) for her seat will represent the 9th District on council, having won with 52.65 percent. He defeated the Chamber of Commerce favorite in the race – Marco Barros – who was easily recognized as the race’s heavy hitter from the start.
District 8 will be represented by Manny Pelaez, who defeated Cynthia Brehm by around 1,300 votes. District 10 rejected a radical liberal candidate in Ezra Johnson – who had been criticized by local conservatives for anti-gun and other far-left stances – by voting in Clayton Perry with 53.09 percent.
District 6 yields one of the most interesting (and encouraging) results for the reform-minded: fire and police union consultant Greg Brockhouse defeated disability rights attorney Melissa Havrda, pulling 52.42 percent of the nearly 9,000 votes cast. Brockhouse has been an outspoken advocate for the historically under-staffed and overstretched public safety sector in San Antonio – a position which has put him at odds with crony interests in the city’s establishment, including City Manager Sheryll Sculley. It will be interesting to watch how those relationships influence his maneuvering within a body that has, under the current regime, been hostile to such concerns.
With Saturday’s results, the Alamo city can be expected to move aggressively further left than it has trended in recent years. Although the election brings in a lot of new blood, there doesn’t look like enough of it to oppose an agenda by Nirenberg that – if history is any indicator – promises to be much further to the left than his predecessor.