Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff endorsed Mayor Ron Nirenberg in his bid for reelection during a virtual campaign launch Wednesday, praising his leadership during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’ve had the privilege over the last year to work with him on the devastating impact that COVID has had on our community,” Wolff said in a pre-recorded video. “He’s actually provided dramatic leadership in this last year.”

Wolff did not endorse Nirenberg for a second term in 2019, even has he faced former Councilman Greg Brockhouse in a close runoff. Wolff’s early endorsement of Nirenberg this round may be an attempt to avoid another as Brockhouse is set to formally launch his campaign soon.

Election Day is May 1 for the nonpartisan city elections, which also include all 10 City Council seats.

For nearly a year, Wolff and Nirenberg have spent most weekday evenings together conducting joint briefings at 6:13 p.m. on television and online, providing updates on the coronavirus pandemic, testing, vaccines, and health and safety guidelines. The two appear to have developed a comfortable rapport as they answer questions from media members.

Wolff supported – and voters ultimately approved in November – the workforce development sales tax initiative led by Nirenberg as well as a ballot measure on VIA Metropolitan Transit funding.

“As we look ahead it is my hope that the San Antonio community has hope that the best is yet to come,” Nirenberg said in kicking off his bid for a third term. “Because I know working together, we are going to come back from this [pandemic] even stronger than when we started.”

Nirenberg’s campaign also boasted endorsements from Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, philanthropist and businessman Gordon Hartman, labor union leader Linda Chavez-Thompson, and Charlotte Davis, president of the San Antonio chapter of Black Nurses Rock, a nursing association.

“He’s a political leader who makes you feel safe, who makes you feel a part of San Antonio,” Chavez-Thompson said.

Meanwhile, Brockhouse has started fundraising for his campaign but has yet to file an application to appear on the May 1 ballot. As a former consultant for the police and fire unions, he is expected to garner their support as well as backing from conservative voters who are opposed to Nirenberg’s more progressive policies.

Iris Dimmick

Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick covers public policy pertaining to social issues, ranging from affordable housing and economic disparity to policing reform and workforce development. Contact her at iris@sareport.org