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The Nov. 3 ballot will be a long one, with plenty of national, state, and local races featured, including school board races in six districts.
Seats on the boards of North East Independent School District, Southwest ISD, and Alamo Colleges were originally slated to be on the May ballot. After Gov. Greg Abbott allowed local governmental entities to delay their elections, the races moved to November. When the Alamo Colleges board voted to push their contests, trustees didn’t specify a date, but they voted on Monday in favor of the November race.
Trustee races in Edgewood, South San Antonio, and Somerset ISDs are also slated for November. Voters in San Antonio ISD will also vote on two bond packages totaling $1.3 billion, and San Antonio residents will cast ballots on the renewal of the one-eighth-cent sales tax initiative that funds Pre-K 4 SA.
South San Antonio ISD
Some of the names on the November ballot will be familiar. This spring, longtime South San Antonio ISD trustee Connie Prado filed for the open District 4 seat on the Alamo Colleges board. However, after community college trustees waffled over when to hold the election, Prado also filed again for her District 5 seat on the South San board and drew no competitor.
Unopposed, Prado will retain her seat on South San’s board in November. She still plans on running for the Alamo Colleges seat, however, and would give up her position in South San if she won the Alamo Colleges race.
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Before filing for South San, Prado tried to encourage others to run for her seat, she said. But on the Friday before the Monday filing deadline, no one had put their name in. She had heard Alamo Colleges trustees might delay their election even further, possibly until next May.
She didn’t want to wait another year for the Alamo Colleges date and submitted her candidate application for South San on Aug. 17, the last day to file.
She will be automatically reelected because no one else filed for her District 5 seat in South San, a fact that surprised Prado. She consulted with lawyers to make sure she could still be on the Alamo Colleges ballot and has until Aug. 24 to withdraw her name if she chooses.
Two other South San trustees will also return to the board with no opponent in the November election. Incumbents Stacey Alderete (D7) and Homer Flores (D3) will retain their seats. Incumbent Veronica Barba, an administrative assistant, will face a challenge from Gina Villagomez, who also applied for the District 1 seat when it became open last year. Villagomez worked at the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office previously.
Former board member Manuel Lopez, who served from 1998 to 2010, will face Ernesto Arrellano Jr., a USAA business support analyst, for the District 2 seat, which Board Vice President Kevin Rasco is leaving open after he chose not to seek reelection. Rasco said he was stepping off the board to focus on professional pursuits. He was appointed to the seat last September.
In Edgewood ISD, only one trustee race is contested. Current trustees Martha Castilla and Joseph Guerra drew no challengers.
Trustee Timothy Payne, who previously served as a manager on the board of managers and was appointed to his trustee position in January 2019, won’t run for reelection in his seat. Richard Santoyo, another former manager, and Ricky Escoto filed for Payne’s seat.
Santoyo is a retired firefighter and paramedic and previously ran for an elected trustee position but lost two years ago to Dina Serrano. He was appointed to the board of managers in 2016 and served until May 2019.
Alamo Colleges District
In April, the community college’s governing board voted to delay the May election to a later date because of coronavirus. Trustees voted to ask Abbott for a non-November election date to avoid a long, partisan ballot. Last week, trustees voted to push the contests past November, but reversed course on Monday.
The Alamo Colleges District will have three seats on the ballot. An additional seat was up for election, but incumbent Clint Kingsbery (D8) drew no challengers and automatically retained his position.
Trustee Jose Macias Jr. (D2) was appointed to his role last August after longtime trustee Denver McClendon left the seat open in the middle of his term. Macias, a nonprofit development manager, will compete against Gloria Ray, a retired Kelly Air Force Base administrator, in November. Ray applied for McClendon’s vacancy and was nominated for the position but didn’t secure the necessary support to win the board’s appointment.
Four candidates are competing for the open District 4 seat, left vacant by Board Chair Marcelo Casillas. The candidates are retired veteran Robert A. Casias, VIA Metropolitan Transit communications manager and former candidate Lorena Pulido, retired probation officer Joe A. Gallegos Jr., and Prado.
Two candidates will challenge incumbent retired educator Joe Jesse Sanchez for the District 9 seat. The challengers are Michael John Good, who works in construction, and attorney Leslie Sachanowicz.
North East ISD
Five incumbents on North East ISD’s school board will face challengers in November. District 1 incumbent Sandy Hughey, who has served on the board for two decades, will run against retired engineer Michael Osborn.
District 3 trustee Omar Leos, the Harlandale ISD fine arts coordinator who was appointed to his seat in November 2019 to serve the remaining years on trustee Joseph Treviño’s term, will try to keep his position in a race against Ione McGinty, who previously worked in banking.
Incumbent David Beyer (D4) faces attorney Joseph Hoelscher. Beyer, a landscape architect, was appointed to his seat in January 2019 to replace trustee Jim Wheat, who resigned to become an associate judge.
Board President Shannon Grona (D5) hopes to win a third term against challenger Cimarron Gilson, a local attorney.
Three candidates are vying for the District 6 seat, currently held by Tony Jaso, an investment banker. Jaso is seeking to win a second term in a contest against attorney Dylan Pearcy and pilot Steve Hilliard.
Southwest ISD will have two seats up for grabs in November. The top two vote getters out of the five candidates who filed for election will win three-year terms.
Candidates include incumbents Mike Frazier, who has been on the board since 1980, and Yolanda Garza-Lopez, who was elected in 2008. The three other candidates are retired military officer Pete “Pedro” Bernal, former superintendent and current school administrator Raul Leonidas Nuques, and business owner Joe Diaz.
Uncontested races and ballot initiatives
Somerset ISD will also have one contested race although the district did not provide the candidate information in time for publication.
East Central ISD was slated for elections on three trustee seats, but the three incumbents were the only candidates to file. Alamo Heights ISD had two seats up for election in May, but they drew only one candidate apiece.
Voters will also weigh in on whether to approve a $1.3 billion bond package from San Antonio ISD, which would fund technology improvements across the district and renovations at 36 campuses.
Throughout the city of San Antonio, residents will vote on whether to renew the one-eighth-cent sales tax that funds Pre-K 4 SA, the city-run early childhood education initiative. Election day is Nov. 3.