This story has been updated.

Of eight City Council incumbents on the ballot, embattled District 1 Councilman Mario Bravo was the only one who trailed in his reelection race Saturday and will face education consultant Sukh Kaur in a June 10 runoff. 

Business attorney Marc Whyte defeated six opponents to win the open District 10 City Council seat while the other open race, in District 7, was headed to a runoff. 

In that race, former tech executive Marina Alderete Gavito will face computer scientist Dan Rossiter in a bid to replace Councilwoman Ana Sandoval.

First-term Councilman Jalen McKee-Rodriguez (D2) sidestepped nine challengers and won a second term in a district that in recent years has experienced turnover in its council representation.

On a night when Mayor Ron Nirenberg was able to declare victory shortly after early vote totals were released, two incumbents whose races received little attention, Melissa Cabello Havrda (D6) and Phyllis Viagran (D3), won closer-than-expected contests. 

District 1

Bravo, with 26% of the vote in unofficial results, ran behind Kaur, a first-time candidate who owns an education nonprofit, with 33.9%.

“Almost 75% of the district wants change,” Kaur told supporters at a gathering at Sancho’s Cantina & Cocina.

“What we have seen is that strong, women leadership has led this city in the majority of the City Council,” Kaur said, referring to the council’s majority-female representation from 2019 to 2021.

Bravo watched election results come in with neighborhood residents and leaders at the Alamo Auto Sound & Security workshop.

“The next race is a completely different race,” he said. “There’s no proposition on it, there’s no mayoral race. It’s a head-to-head battle, and there aren’t all these candidates in it as well.”

Jeremy Roberts, a marketing executive, had 20.7% to finish third. Former Dellview Area Neighborhood Association President Ernest Salinas had 9.8% in the seven-candidate race.

Bravo was viewed as one of the council’s most vulnerable incumbents after colleagues issued him a vote of no-confidence in November, following an independent investigation that found he had berated Sandoval over a disagreement during a September budget vote.

Despite the incident, Bravo maintained significant support from neighborhood leaders who said they didn’t want the downtown district to experience more turnover. He also received help in the final weeks from the campaign firm running Nirenberg’s campaign, Austin-based MAP strategies.

District 1 candidate Sukh Kaur will challenge incumbent Mario Bravo in a runoff.
District 1 candidate Sukh Kaur will challenge incumbent Mario Bravo in a runoff. Credit: Brenda Bazán / San Antonio Report

Kaur was a teacher and administrator in Houston public schools before moving to San Antonio in 2017. She had the endorsement of former Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. 

Her campaign has faced pushback over her work with charter schools, supporters of which contributed roughly $3,000 to her campaign in the final month. 

District 2

McKee-Rodriguez defeated a pack of nine challengers with 56% of the vote. 

McKee-Rodriguez unseated his former boss, Jada Andrews-Sullivan, to win the Eastside council seat in 2021, becoming the first openly gay black man elected to office in Texas. 

Since then his progressive politics have made him a target of business groups and developers. McKee-Rodriguez has the support of the Democratic Socialists of America, and he was the first sitting council member to back the proposed charter amendment known as Proposition A

“I’m excited and I’m grateful,” McKee-Rodriguez said, his shoulders moving to the music at his campaign party at the Mosaic Multiplex venue. “I feel affirmed and I feel vindicated.”

City Councilman Jalen McKee Rodriguez (D2) dances with supporters during his campaign watch party.
City Councilman Jalen McKee Rodriguez (D2) dances with supporters during his campaign party on Saturday. Credit: Bria Woods / San Antonio Report

Most District 2 council members have struggled to gain reelection in the last decade, or stepped down to pursue other work, and another crowded ballot signaled, for many, that the East Side should expect a runoff.

“One of our biggest priorities was relationship building,” McKee-Rodriguez said of his first term. “And I think that the reason that people thought there was going to be a runoff is because they didn’t realize the strength of the relationships that we built.”

McKee-Rodriguez garnered the most votes — 4,890 in unofficial results — in a District 2 election since 1997, when former Councilman Mario Salas was elected in a runoff with 4,148 votes, according to Bexar County archives.

Running closest to McKee-Rodriguez was Denise Gutierrez, an artist and veterinary clinic owner, who took 14.7%.

Retired communications professional Carla Walker had 6.8%. Rose Hill, longtime president of the Government Hill Alliance Neighborhood Association, had 7.6%. Patrick Jones, pastor of the Greater Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, trailed with 5.3%. 

District 3

Viagran narrowly avoided a runoff with 50.9% of the vote in a field of four candidates to secure a second term.

Viagran is a former elementary school teacher and community service specialist for the San Antonio Police Department. She won the seat running as a first-time candidate in 2021, after her sister, Rebecca Viagran, had represented the Southeast district for the maximum four terms.

The rest of the vote was divided among Erin Gallegos Reid, a journalist and teacher endorsed by the Republican Party of Bexar County, first-time candidate Jayden Muñoz and U.S. Coast Guard veteran Larry La Rose. Reid had 22.3%, Muñoz had 15.6% and La Rose 11.2%.

District 4

Councilwoman Adriana Rocha Garcia won a third term, taking more than 75% of the vote. 

Often mentioned as a future mayoral candidate, Rocha Garcia is a communications and marketing specialist who has represented the Southwest council district since 2019

This year she faced one opponent, U.S. Marine Corps veteran and construction manager Gregorio De La Paz, who was endorsed by the Republican Party of Bexar County.

Despite little opposition in her reelection race, she spent about $34,000 over the last four months and reported $30,000 remaining in her campaign account.

District 5

First-term Councilwoman Teri Castillo held her Westside council seat, garnering nearly 63% of the vote. 

The former teacher and housing organizer was viewed as a top target for business and developers after she won the seat in 2021, advancing from a crowded field to a runoff with Rudy Lopez, who worked as a civilian with the San Antonio Police Department.

Deep-pocketed critics of Castillo failed to field a challenger they liked this year, however, making her reelection contest one of the quieter races this election cycle.

Castillo raised and spent little money on her campaign but once again had the help of the Texas Organizing Project, where she was a political organizer before running for office. She was also endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America and the firefighters union.

This year Castillo once again faced Lopez, as well as chemical engineer Arturo Espinosa. Lopez got 31.2% of the vote and Espinosa 6%. 

District 6

Cabello Havrda, a practicing attorney, secured nearly 53.8% of the vote against two opponents to win her bid for a third term. 

Irina Rudolph, an engineer backed by the Republican Party of Bexar County, had 35% and Chris Baecker, an accountant, had 11.2%. Both sought the seat in 2021.

Cabello Havrda chairs the council’s Public Safety Committee and Transportation and Mobility Committee. She considered running for the Texas House of Representatives two years ago and is often discussed as a potential future mayoral contender. She reported roughly $75,000 remaining in her campaign account in the final days before the election. 

District 7

Gavito and former Thunderbird Hills Neighborhood Association President Rossiter secured spots in the June 10 runoff to replace Sandoval, who represented the Westside council district from 2017 until January.   

Sandoval stepped down to accept a higher-paying job, and the council chose civil rights leader Rosie Castro to fill the role until a new council member is elected. 

Gavito, who raised and spent more money than most council incumbents this election cycle, led the field with nearly 42.6% of the vote. 

District 7 candidate Marina Gavito, center, reacts as early voting totals come in.
District 7 candidate Marina Gavito, center, reacts as early voting totals come in. Credit: Bria Woods / San Antonio Report

Rossiter trailed with 21.1%. He raised $225 in the final month of the campaign, to Gavito’s roughly $25,000. He said he plans to spend the runoff meeting with voters directly and attending neighborhood meetings.

“The plan is the same plan we’ve had all along, to focus on the issues,” Rossiter said Saturday. “We’re the only campaign that bothered to put forward concrete policy recommendations. … That’s why for $1 to every $4 of our opponent we were able to … move on to the next stage, so we’re thrilled with the results,” Rossiter said.

Family and marriage therapist Sandragrace Martinez had 18% of the vote, and Jacob Chapa, a UTSA senior endorsed by the Republican Party of Bexar County, had just under 13%. 

Gavito was a product developer at Rackspace and a business development director at USAA before leading a public-private partnership aimed at expanding internet access in Bexar County. She’s a first-time candidate, but her father, Joe Alderete, became the first councilman for District 7 in 1977, when San Antonio moved to single-member districts, and served eight years. 

Rossiter was a computer scientist at the Southwest Research Institute and has served on numerous city boards and committees. Martinez ran for the Democratic nomination for Texas land commissioner in 2021 and went to a runoff with King Ranch scion Jay Kleberg despite spending little on her campaign. 

Dan Rossiter, a candidate for District 7
Dan Rossiter, a candidate for District 7, will compete in a runoff against Marina Gavito. Credit: Brenda Bazán / San Antonio Report

District 8

Councilman Manny Pelaez easily won his bid for a fourth and final term representing the Northwest San Antonio district with 70.5% of the vote. Pelaez faced one opponent, audio visual technician Cesario Garcia, who also ran in 2021 and was endorsed by the Republican Party of Bexar County. Garcia trailed with 29.6%. 

Pelaez chairs the council’s Economic and Workforce Development Committee and is viewed as a potential mayoral candidate. 

Pelaez spent roughly $80,000 on his campaign this year on newspaper ads, mail ads and billboards. He raised roughly the same amount and reported about $75,000 in the bank as of April 26.

District 9

Councilman John Courage, who has represented his Northside district since 2017, won reelection to a fourth and final term, taking 62.5% in a four-way race.

District 9 accounted for more than 20% of the votes cast early in San Antonio’s municipal election. Courage’s campaign said it saw an outpouring of residents showing up to cast their vote against Proposition A — a measure the councilman opposed

Two years ago Christian social issues activist Patrick Von Dohlen took Courage to a runoff in the city’s most conservative council district. Courage went on to defeat Von Dohlen, who had the backing of the police union, by roughly 8 percentage points.

This year Courage faced a challenge from former Johnson High School band director Jarrett Lipman, who was endorsed by the Republican Party of Bexar County. Lipman trailed with 27.6%. 

Bexar County maintenance technician David Allan Lara took 5.7% of the vote and Dominique Liu, CEO and founder of the financial firm Dominion Strategies, had 4.2%.

District 10

Facing a crowded field in the race to replace Perry, who has represented the Northside district since 2017, Whyte avoided a runoff by securing 57.8% of the vote.

Perry, who was recently sentenced to deferred adjudication after a November hit-and-run car crash, supported Whyte, his former appointee to the Zoning Commission. 

The unexpected opening in District 10 drew a field of seven candidates with widely varying political experience.

Whyte, who previously made an unsuccessful run for the Texas House of Representatives, had the backing of the police union, the Republican Party of Bexar County and a long list of past and present GOP officeholders. He raised more money than any other city candidate besides Nirenberg.

Council candidate Marc Whyte celebrates at his campaign watch party as he holds a commanding lead for Council District 10.
Council candidate Marc Whyte celebrates at his campaign watch party as he holds a commanding lead in District 10. Credit: Bria Woods / San Antonio Report

Electrical engineer Joel Solis finished second with 12.8%. Longtime government affairs representative Robert Flores, who sits on the board of the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce, was third with 8.4%.

Labor unions rallied around bike activist Bryan Martin, who owns an e-bike company and got just 7% of the vote. Martin also had the backing of the Northeast Bexar County Democrats. 

This story was updated to correct Councilwoman Adriana Rocha Garcia’s four-month campaign spending figure.

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.