Former Mayor Julián Castro, most recently former secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development, will be block-walking with mayoral candidate Councilman Ron Nirenberg (D8) Saturday morning, but the councilman’s campaign declined to indicate if an official endorsement from Castro was imminent.

“You’ll have to stop by tomorrow morning, have some tacos, and find out,” Nirenberg’s campaign manager Kelton Morgan told the Rivard Report Friday evening. Castro will be at Nirenberg’s campaign to deliver a “pep talk” to volunteers hoping to “get out the vote.”

Nirenberg is in a tight runoff with incumbent Mayor Ivy Taylor. Political observers have said an endorsement from Castro, one of San Antonio’s most popular mayors who served three terms before he accepted a position in the Obama administration in 2014, could have a significant impact on the mayoral election. Castro could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Early voting starts Tuesday, May 30 and ends on Tuesday, June 6. Election Day is on Saturday, June 10.

“Endorsements get you half their friends and all their enemies,” Taylor’s general consultant Colin Strother told the Rivard Report, paraphrasing former President George W. Bush.

“We knew it was coming, we’re not surprised,” Strother added. “[Nirenberg is] targeting the liberal wing of the democratic party because that’s where he sees his path to victory … Mayor [Taylor] is focused on all San Antonians, regardless of their political persuasion and that’s just a big difference between her and Ron.”

Nirenberg described himself at a recent mayoral forum as an “independent” and has never held a partisan office.

Taylor, a socially conservative democrat, was appointed mayor by her Council colleagues in 2014. She, too, has never held a partisan office.

Taylor collected 41,788 votes, 42.01%, in the May 6 general election. Nirenberg won 36,887 votes, 37.08%. Voters favored Taylor in the early voting, while Nirenberg drew more votes on Election Day.

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