Image ©John Branch for the Rivard Report, 2017.

On Saturday, Jan. 8, 2016 Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Manuel Medina launched his bid for mayor in front of San Fernando Cathedral.

Medina, who refers to himself as “financially and politically independent,” took aim at both Mayor Ivy Taylor and challenger Councilman Ron Nirenberg (D8). Medina dinged Taylor for epitomizing “a pay-for-play culture at City Hall” and chided Nirenberg for his appointments to the City’s Parks Bond Committee.

“Candidates get their contributions, special interests get their special favors, taxpayers get stuck with the bill,” Medina said.

Taylor’s campaign manager Christian Anderson promptly responded to Medina’s critique.

“… She’s kept partisanship out of City Hall. Partisan brawls at City Council would kill the progress we’ve made in San Antonio over the last several years,” Anderson stated. “Medina is a political insider looking to divide San Antonians by their party affiliations. He wants to slice up our City into sections, one pitted against another.”

Nirenberg also answered.

“Medina and I agree that Mayor Taylor isn’t getting the job done, but I think he’s wrong to paint everyone in the city with her failures,” he stated. “… We need leadership that unites our city, not partisanship that divides.”

Along with the 2017 Municipal Bond, San Antonio voters will decide the nonpartisan mayoral race on May 6.

Cartoonist John Branch has commented on San Antonio and Texas politics for decades; his work is syndicated nationally by King Features.