Keith Toney thanks his supporters after hearing early voting results at Tony G's Soul Food.
District 2 City council candidate Keith Toney thanks his supporters after hearing early voting results at Tony G's Soul Food. He will face Jada Andrews-Sullivan in a runoff. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

A runoff will determine the next council member in East San Antonio’s District 2.

Candidates Keith Toney and Jada Andrews-Sullivan pulled ahead in the race Saturday night, but neither secured the majority needed to win outright.

Toney, who formerly held the District 2 seat as an appointee, garnered 1,456 votes, or 26.9 percent, with all precincts counted. Andrews-Sullivan, a disabled U.S. Army veteran and motivational speaker, had received 1,157 votes, or 21.4 percent. Denise Gutierrez-Homer was third, with 1,098 votes, or 20.3 percent, missing the runoff by less than 60 votes.

The District 2 seat was up for grabs after William “Cruz” Shaw, who defeated incumbent Alan Warrick two years ago, resigned before his term ended to take a position as a state district court associate judge working in juvenile justice. Art Hall, who had formerly held a seat on City Council, was tapped as the interim council member but did not seek election.

Toney said he and his campaign team had hoped to avoid a runoff but acknowledged that is the most realistic outcome in a race with eight challengers and no incumbent.

“Given the number of candidates in the race, we always knew the reality was that a runoff was possible,” he said.

“We hope that we ultimately emerge victorious,” Toney added. “If not, we pledge to work with whoever is victorious for the good of District 2.”

Reached by phone shortly after early voting results were released, Andrews-Sullivan said she felt confident she and her campaign volunteers had done the work they had set out to do.

“We leave the rest to the powers that be in this universe,” she said.

“You have to remember Mr. Toney has been here before,” she added. “He brings more [name recognition] than us newcomers to the political arena. We’re just waiting for the official numbers to come in. I’m looking forward to a runoff if there is one.”

Jada Andrews-Sullivan debriefs with her campaign staff.
Jada Andrews-Sullivan debriefs with her campaign staff. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

Trailing by significant margins were Joseph Powell, a self-described “protest candidate;” Richard Anthony Ramey, a graduate student studying counseling; Salena Santibanez Guipzot, who owns a construction consulting company and a drywall business; Walter E. Perry Sr., who is studying for a bachelor’s degree in marketing; and Ruben Arciniega, a program coordinator at the UTSA.

Toney, a retired federal employee, raised more than $5,250 in political contributions – the most funding in the race, according to the most recent campaign finance reports. Andrews-Sullivan, however, outspent Toney by $3,000.

Toney said he’ll emphasize his background as a former representative of the district while campaigning ahead of the runoff.

“The biggest contrast [between me and Andrews-Sullivan] is in experience – or lack thereof – so we’ll highlight that, and we’ll see what the voters say,” Toney said.

“We’re excited and ready to get to work,” Andrews-Sullivan said, adding that she and her campaign team will go into “full-work mode” beginning tomorrow to prepare for the runoff.

“We’ll be speaking to those people that need to be talked to, making those phone calls, and making sure our presence is known in the community,” she said.

JJ Velasquez

JJ Velasquez

JJ Velasquez is a columnist at the San Antonio Report. A former reporter and editor at the SA Report, he currently works as a project manager for New York City-based Advance Local.