A voter walks to a polling site for the special election on election day at Lawrence Powell Elementary School.
A voter walks to a polling site for the special election on election day at Lawrence Powell Elementary School. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Fifty candidates have filed for 21 school board seats in seven local school districts for the May 4 election. Incumbents face challengers in most races and only three seats are uncontested.

Elections in San Antonio Independent School District will be the most hotly contested after a controversial and unanimous board decision to turn over Stewart Elementary to Democracy Prep, a New York-based charter operator. Opponents of the move threatened incumbents with ousting.

One of those contested seats belonged to trustee James Howard, who will not run to represent SAISD’s District 2 for the first time in two decades. The race for his open seat, which spans the East Side and includes Sam Houston High School, will feature four candidates, including pastor Darrell Boyce, teacher Christopher Green, student success specialist Alicia Monica Perry, and health care companion Royce Sullivan.

The other two contested races are in Districts 5 and 6. In District 5, Board President Patti Radle will face Janell Rubio. Trustee Christina Martinez, appointed to the District 6 seat in March 2017, will face Chris Castro, a former SAISD principal, and Eduardo Torres, a recent SAISD graduate.

Harlandale ISD, which is under threat of state intervention after a Texas Education Agency special accreditation investigation, will hold a school board election as the results of the looming state investigation could render current and future trustees powerless if recommended sanctions are imposed.

Eight candidates are in the running for the three contested spots, including Tomas Uresti, a former trustee who left his post to become a state representative. Uresti lost his bid for re-election to House District 118 in the Democratic primary. He will face Elaine Anaya-Ortiz, a government employee, in the race to represent District 5. Incumbent Jesus Tejeda did not file for re-election.

Jesse Diaz, Lorenzo Gonzalez, and Elizabeth Limon filed to represent District 6, which was vacated by trustee Carlos Quezada after he was elected judge of the 289th Judicial District in November.

District 7 features a race between incumbent trustee Ricardo Moreno, Jesse Alaniz, a former trustee and board president, who was unseated by Moreno in 2015, and Lee Martinez, Jr., a 911 call taker.

Southside ISD’s election will place four trustees in positions that may not hold actual power until the state hands the governance of the district back to an elected board. In 2017, Commissioner of Education Mike Morath replaced Southside’s elected board of trustees with a five-person state-appointed board of managers because of issues with board governance and contract procurement.

Ken Bouldin, Julian Gonzales, and Johnny Cantu Jr., former trustees who were in place when the state took over, are running for re-election. Overall, 11 candidates are running across four races.

Alamo Heights, Judson, Northside, and Southwest school districts also are holding elections. Below is a full list of all candidates running for school board elections in Bexar County.

Some terminology may differ by district depending on whether trustees are running for at-large places or single-member districts. Candidates are listed alphabetically.

Alamo Heights ISD
Place 1: David Hornberger (incumbent), Arlene Serrano
Place 2: Brian Hamilton

Judson ISD
District 1: Suzanne Kenoyer (incumbent)
Place 6: Thomas England, Renée Paschall (incumbent)
Place 7: Willie Black Jr., Christophor Galloway, Walter Harchut, Lynette Perez

Harlandale ISD
District 5: Elaine Anaya-Ortiz, Tomas Uresti
District 6: Jesse Diaz, Lorenzo Gonzalez, Elizabeth Limon
District 7: Jesse Alaniz, Lee Martinez Jr., Ricardo Moreno (incumbent)

Northside ISD
District 1: George Lynn Britton Jr., Joseph Medina (incumbent), David Salacido
District 2: Gerald Lopez (incumbent), Mary Olison
District 3: M’Lissa Chumbley (incumbent)
District 4: Bobby Blount (incumbent), Rolando Garcia

San Antonio ISD
District 2: Darrell Boyce, Christopher Green, Alicia Monica Perry, Royce Sullivan
District 5: Patti Radle (incumbent), Janell Rubio
District 6: Chris Castro, Christina Martinez (incumbent), Eduardo Torres

Southwest ISD
Two at-large trustee positions available: Pete Bernal, Gloria dela Garza-Rankin, Ida Perez Sudolcan (incumbent), Sylvester Vasquez Jr. (incumbent)

Southside ISD
Position 1: Kenneth Bouldin Jr. (incumbent), Maggie Morales, Jan Ruzza
Position 2: Julian Gonzales (incumbent), Mary Silva, Jerry Soto
Position 6: Johnny Cantu Jr. (incumbent), Brenda Nagelhout-Olivarez, Lisa Salazar
Position 7: Katie Farias, Robert Kindla

Check back before early voting starts in April for Q&As with each of the candidates.

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Emily Donaldson

Emily Donaldson reports on education for the San Antonio Report.