Mayoral candidate Mike Villarreal talks with guests during the 2nd annual Webhead Cascarón Bash at Alamo Beer Company. Photo by Scott Ball.
Then-mayoral candidate Mike Villarreal talks with guests at a Fiesta event in 2015. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Many people have asked me to endorse a candidate for Mayor of San Antonio.

When I kicked off my campaign on a rainy day in November, I took an important pledge to not endorse any other candidates. The purpose of that pledge was to keep the highest office in our city out of the partisan fray. My willingness to set my party aside as I pursued the nonpartisan office of Mayor allowed many Republicans to support this former Democratic legislator. Though I am no longer a candidate for Mayor, I consider this promise binding.

In the days since the first round of voting, I’ve met with my supporters who have made compelling cases for why each of the two remaining candidates is the better choice. Our campaign was a unique mix that spanned political parties and brought together fiscal conservatives and social liberals. Listening to these passionate voices has convinced me that each and every one of them is capable of making a smart decision about who to vote for. They won’t all vote one way, and they don’t need me to tell them how to vote.

If I offer any guidance for my supporters, it would be to select the candidate who best upholds the principles that our campaign stood for.

Financial Responsibility

Which candidate will best make responsible financial decisions with our tax dollars? Specifically, who will best control the contract costs of our police and firefighters while keeping the overall goal of public safety in mind?

Equality

Which candidate will be a voice for the average person? Who will protect all our people against discrimination in all its forms?

Embracing Innovation and Technology

Which candidate will welcome change and innovation in the way the city provides services, including allowing the private sector to compete?

A recurring theme of our campaign and a question I ask myself is: how will we make this city a place of opportunity for our children, and for 20- and 30-year-olds seeking a place to start a business or a family? I find myself returning to that question as I contemplate who will be the best leader in this important moment for our city.

I encourage my supporters to not only vote in the June 13 runoff, but also to stay engaged because that is how we move our city forward.

*Featured/top image: Mayoral candidate Mike Villarreal talks with guests during the second annual Webhead Cascarón Bash at Alamo Beer Company.  Photo by Scott Ball. 

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Mike Villarreal

Mike Villarreal is a former state representative and founding director of the Institute on Urban Education at the University of Texas at San Antonio.