San Antonio will vote to elect 10 City Council members and a mayor on May 6. No current officeholders are subject to term limits and, so far, no incumbent has announced plans to retire.
Still, it’s unusual for sitting council members to run unopposed, and San Antonio’s requirements to run for municipal office are relatively low compared to other major cities.
City Council members and the mayor serve two-year terms and can serve a maximum of four terms, according to the city charter.
Council candidates must have lived in the district they’re running to represent, under the city’s newly drawn maps, for at least six months prior to filing an application to run.
Other Texas cities put additional requirements in place for candidates. Dallas, for example, requires that candidates be up to date on their property taxes. In El Paso, two city council members were recently deemed ineligible for office because they had unpaid city fines.
The city mandates that candidates pay a filing fee of $100 to the city clerk or avoid the fee by collecting petition signatures. The number of signatures required for each district is equal to 0.5% of the total vote received by all candidates for mayor, in that district, in the most recent mayoral general election.
Under state law, potential municipal candidates must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 years old and registered to vote in San Antonio by the end of the filing period.
They’re required to have lived in San Antonio at least a year prior to filing the application, and must verify their address through two official documents, such as a utility bill or bank statement.
People who have been determined by a court to be mentally incapacitated, and convicted felons, under most circumstances, are not eligible to run.
Candidates and officeholders are required to file information about their campaign’s finances, including monthly campaign bank statements, with the city clerk. Candidates for City Council can accept campaign contributions up to $500 per individual donor. Candidates for mayor can accept up to $1,000 per individual donor.
Members of the San Antonio City Council make roughly $45,700 per year, while the mayor makes roughly $61,700. All city offices are nonpartisan.
Early voting will run April 24 through May 2. The last day to register to vote in the municipal election is April 6. The last day to apply for a mail-in ballot is April 25, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s office.