With roughly $330,000 in his campaign account, Mayor Ron Nirenberg filed for reelection to a fourth and final term Thursday.
“I believe San Antonio is on the move and on the cusp of really great days ahead,” Nirenberg told reporters after filing his paperwork with the city clerk. “The truth of the matter is the best days for San Antonio are still ahead of us.”
San Antonio city offices are limited to four two-year terms. If reelected, Nirenberg would be the longest-serving mayor since Henry Cisneros, who was mayor from 1981 to 1989. Term limits imposed later limited the tenure of mayors and council members to two two-year terms until a 2009 city charter amendment.
Nirenberg was District 8 councilman when he ran against and defeated incumbent Mayor Ivy Taylor in 2017. After runoffs in both of his first two mayoral races, he was reelected with 62% of the vote in 2021.
“My focus is going to be on ensuring that we continue to keep this community safe, putting officers on the streets, and working with neighborhoods so every family feels safe and secure in their neighborhood,” Nirenberg said of his plans if he wins a fourth term.
He also listed increasing the availability of high-paying jobs, property tax reform, utility bill relief and pandemic recovery among his top priorities.
“As we’ve gone through the pandemic, as we’ve gone through storms, as we’ve gone through national economic issues — the city rallies together, we work together and we will thrive because of that,” he said. “Those are the issues that I want to make sure that I carry as far down the field as possible before my terms are over.”
Nirenberg was joined by his wife, Erika Prosper Nirenberg; their son, Jonah; and campaign manager James Alderete at the city clerk’s office.
Filing for the May municipal election opened Jan. 18 and closes Feb. 17.
As of Thursday afternoon three other candidates had filed to run for mayor: Christopher Longoria, Ray Adam Basaldua and Diane Flores Uriegas.
“We’re going to run an aggressive campaign,” Nirenberg said of the race.
Every current council member is eligible for reelection. So far just one, District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval, has announced that she won’t seek reelection.
Still, voters across the city may have a different issue drawing them to the polls in the May municipal election.
Progressive groups have submitted petitions for a city charter amendment that would ban the use of no-knock warrants and chokeholds by police, and call for the use of citations instead of arrests for low-level nonviolent crimes, among other changes.
“A lot of what’s in the petition I agree with in terms of the the issues that they’re supporting,” Nirenberg said Thursday. “… But we’ve got to make sure that we’re focused on the right level of government that can change those issues.”
In addition to the policing reforms, the charter calls for decriminalizing marijuana and abortion, which both of which would be counter to state law.
Asked whether he would personally support the charter amendment, Nirenberg declined to say.
“That’s up to the voters,” Nirenberg said. “If this makes it onto the ballot, it will be their choice.”