With her name printed on her white cloth mask, Dori L. Brown walked into the City of San Antonio’s Municipal Plaza Building and handed her candidacy paperwork to the City Clerk on Wednesday morning. The 52-year-old tax preparer was kicking off her second run to represent City Council’s District 2, the seat she previously sought in 2017.

“As a longtime resident, I feel there are changes that need to be made, and one of the things we need to do is focus on the residents,” she said.

Brown was one of several San Antonio residents who applied to be on the May municipal election ballot Wednesday, the first day people were able to do so. The City requires would-be candidates to either file their paperwork in person or send it through the mail.

Although more than 30 people have already appointed their campaign treasurers, they must also submit an application for a place on May’s ballot in order to be an official candidate. Marie Crabb, who is running for District 5, was among those who declared their candidacy before Wednesday. 

“I don’t like to leave anything to chance,” said Crabb, a 34-year-old real estate agent. “I like to get it done early and make sure everything is taken care of.”

To run for City Council or mayor, individuals must be a citizen of the United States, a registered voter in San Antonio, 18 or older, and have lived in San Antonio for at least one year before filing an application to be put on the ballot. City Council hopefuls must have lived in the district they’re running in for at least six months prior. 

People eligible for City Council candidacy must also not have been convicted of a felony or determined to be mentally incapacitated by the final judgment of a court. 

Irma G. Barron also formalized her candidacy for District 5 Wednesday. The 74-year-old business owner has lived in the district her whole life, she said, and was inspired to run after she saw less tech-savvy seniors lose out on coronavirus pandemic response grants.

“I’ve had people ask me for the last 10 years to run,” she said. “[When] this pandemic happened, I decided I had to make a difference.”

Kristi Villanueva, 48, has lived in District 2 since 2017. She submitted her application for a place on the ballot Wednesday, bringing her 16-year-old son Christian Peña with her. Villanueva recently resigned from her positions on the Ethics Commission and the VIA Metropolitan Transit board of trustees to run for City Council.

“I wanted to make this my first priority and make sure ethically I’m doing what I’m supposed to do,” Villanueva said.

District 2 will be one of the most crowded fields in May, as nine people have already appointed campaign treasurers, and many more have declared interest in running for the seat. Incumbent City Councilwoman Jada Andrews-Sullivan will be vying for a second term against numerous challengers.

On Wednesday, Villanueva and Brown crossed paths at the City Clerk’s office. Though running against each other, the two candidates took a photograph together in the spirit of unity. 

“There’s a lot of candidates on the slate, and we expect many more to join,” Villanueva said. “The most important thing is we’re all fighting for the same reason.”

The filing period ends on Feb. 12. Candidates can either apply in person at the City Clerk’s office or mail in their application and required identification documents.

Jackie Wang covered local government for the San Antonio Report.