After Saturday’s vote, one thing is clear: Bexar County supports its public schools. Three school districts placed bond initiatives on the ballot, and all three passed with room to spare. The $135 million Alamo Heights ISD bond passed with 80.38% of the vote, Judson‘s $60 million bond passed with 62.05%, and Southside ISD voters approved the $59.75 million bond with 53.59%.
If two school board races could tell the tale of the future of education in San Antonio, it would be San Antonio ISD and Southside ISD.
SAISD’s strong progress under a united board and Superintendent Pedro Martinez was reflected in the victories of incumbent trustees Steve Lecholop (D1), Debra Guerrero (D3), and Art Valdez (D4). Lecholop defeated Sandra Medina with 63.5% of the vote. Guerrero bested two challengers with 58.84%. Valdez was challenged by Adela Segovia, whom he unseated in 2013. He won with 59.37%.
Meanwhile, the Southside ISD community put forth challengers to incumbents Norberto Chavez and Loren Brewer. Brewer was named in the Texas Education Agency’s investigation of the district as an example of board dysfunction. His behavior and that of others led to a State takeover earlier in the school year. Chavez consistently voted with Brewer.
Ruth Arocha defeated Chavez with 59.87%. Brewer failed to make a runoff in his race. Benito Flores and Maggie Morales will compete in a runoff for that seat.
The other at-large seat in Southside ISD was won by Anita Reyna, who beat Bruce Alan Brannon with 70.59% of the vote.
Other districts also saw both strong incumbents and upsets.
Northside ISD District 6 incumbent Carole Harle held her seat against challenger Col. Paul Gass, winning 75.11% of the vote.
In Judson ISD, Suzanne Kenoyer won her race with 69.03%. District 3 incumbent Gilbert Flores was unseated by Debra Eaton, with 61.18%. District 5 incumbent Alberto Salinas also lost to his challenger, Jennifer Rodriguez, in a close race. Rodriguez prevailed with 54.41%.
Incumbents José Macias and Richard LaFoille ran unopposed.
Alamo Heights ISD saw a sound victory for incumbent Margaret Mickler Judson, with 66.48% of the vote, over challenger Aimee Shoemaker Voorhies. In the race for other at-large board position on the ballot, Ryan Grant Anderson earned 57.63% of the vote to defeat James Michael Nittoli.
In Harlandale ISD, District 2 incumbent Christine Carrillo held her seat against challenger Orlando Salazar with 52.46% of the vote.
In the race for the unexpired District 5 seat, Jesus Tejeda and Christopher Cantu will head to a runoff on June 10.