All incumbents win Weslaco commission seats - The Monitor: News

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All incumbents win Weslaco commission seats

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Posted: Monday, June 9, 2008 12:00 am

WESLACO - City Commissioner Soyla Gonzalez defeated challenger Andres "Andy" Noriega in the city's run-off election Monday.

And Guadalupe Rivera defeated Rogelio "Roy" Tijerina in the race for the newly created District 5 spot on the city commission.

Not a single incumbent commissioner lost re-election this year, even though every seat on the board was up for grabs.

"It feels good," said Rivera, 62, at City Hall, after results were announced for his District 5 seat. "I owe it to my supporters. They came out and voted."

Monday's results keep Mayor Buddy de la Rosa and his political allies in the board's minority. De la Rosa was not up for re-election this year.

"Do you know if De la Rosa Pharmacy sells antacid?" shouted one Gonzalez supporter after the results were announced, a dig at the mayor, who runs a pharmacy.

The run-off elections in both District 1 and District 5 drew more voters than the regular elections on May 10 did. Typically, voter turnout in run-off elections drops off.

"I hope those candidates can live up to the expectations of the voters," De La Rosa said after the votes were tallied Monday.

Gonzalez, 62, has already served one term on the commission. She said she looked forward to continuing to serve on the board.

"I love Weslaco," Gonzalez said. "I only want what's in the best interest of the community."

Tijerina and Noriega had based their campaign on the need for more transparency and accountability in the city. Before results were in Monday, Noriega said that regardless of the election's outcome, he believed the commission would now have to address those issues.

Rivera said he wants to work to improve the city's infrastructure and ensure that the fire and police departments have adequate resources.

Later this month, the commission is expected to randomly determine the length of each of its member's terms. Two commissioners will serve one-year terms, two will be set for two-year terms and two will check in for three-year terms. Eventually, all terms will be set at three years.

The unusual arrangement is the result of a series of changes to Weslaco's election procedures this year.

Nineteen commission candidates ran to represent six districts throughout the city this year. Previously, commissioners were elected at large.


Ryan Holeywell covers PSJA, the Mid-Valley and general assignments for The Monitor. He can be reached at (956) 683-4446.










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