San Antonio City Council members could have selected up to three applicants for the vacant District 7 seat for further interviews on Thursday but instead chose just one, Rosie Castro, to advance in the appointment process.

On Thursday, City Council still needs to formally select Castro to fill the spot left by Ana Sandoval’s departure in January. Castro would serve only a short stint on City Council, because city elections are May 6 and she is not running for the open seat.

Castro is the mother of U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) and Julián Castro, the former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and mayor. She’s also a longtime civil rights activist who ran unsuccessfully for the council in 1971.

“It is an honor to interview you, and I feel a little bit silly interviewing you for a place on the dais,” Councilman Jalen McKee-Rodriguez (D2) said to Castro as she took questions from the council on Wednesday.

Council was tasked with filling the seat when Sandoval stepped down to accept a job at University Health last month. Sandoval had represented the Westside district since 2017, and her last day on the City Council was Jan. 29.

Retired Army veteran David Avila, retired education administrator Delia Guajardo and Sean Murphy, a former Florida county commissioner, also interviewed for the District 7 opening.

Castro said her top priorities are advocating for greater voter turnout and continuing Sandoval’s work in increasing government transparency. She mentioned stray animals, street racing and drainage as areas of concern that need attention in District 7.

“It’s three months. … I don’t expect to change the world, but whatever I can do, I will,” Castro said of the temporary position.

The temporary replacement would hold the seat until the end of May, providing an opportunity for some input in the city’s early budget discussions, which are scheduled to begin in April.

All council seats and the mayor’s office will be decided in the May 6 city elections, and the filing period to run closed Feb. 18. Five candidates are running to represent the district:

  • Dan Rossiter, a software engineer
  • Marina Alderete Gavito, strategic advisor to SA Digital Connects
  • Jacob Chapa, a legal assistant
  • Sandragrace Martinez, a counselor
  • Andrew “AJ” Luck, a legal consultant.
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Andrea Drusch

Andrea Drusch writes about local government for the San Antonio Report. She's covered politics in Washington, D.C., and Texas for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, National Journal and Politico.