New mayor and his slate elected in Hidalgo

HIDALGO — More than half of the city’s registered voters came out to vote in Saturday’s election.

Former council member Sergio Coronado defeated Hidalgo Mayor Martin Cepeda and another challenger Javier Solis in Saturday’s election.

It was a close race between Coronado and Cepeda, who took 53 and 46 percent of the votes respectively. Solis lagged far behind with only 17 votes cast in his favor, or less than half a percentage point.

Coronado and Cepeda had been trying to oust each other from the council for months, often placing items on the agenda that called for it.

But in the end, it was the voters that decided who stayed and who went.

Nearly 3,700 people voted in the town with about 7,200 registered voters.

“Regardless of the outcome, I think Hidalgo has changed because of this election,” the incoming mayor said before the results came in. “Win or lose, the city came out to vote.”

Cepeda, who replaced John David Franz in 2012, could not be reached for comment.

Coronado’s slate was also successful.

Abram Ramirez, an information technology manager, who was vying for Place 2 against Manuel Gallegos Jr, came out on top with 1,957 votes to Gallegos’ 1,718. The seat will be vacated by council member Noe Reyes, who did not seek re-election after serving one term.

In Place 4, Linda B. Ayala, the vice president of Liram LLC, beat Rachel Anderson, an educator, by 333 votes. Ayala, wife of musician Ramon Ayala, finally won a seat on the council after an unsuccessful bid in 2016.

The election ends months, perhaps years, of political infighting for control of the council.

After last year’s special election, the council was essentially split in half, which made it difficult to conduct city business.

A number of city meetings were canceled because members would walk out if they didn’t agree with an item on the agenda, or they simply wouldn’t show up.

Saturday’s results guarantee Coronado will have a majority on the council, with council members Rudy Franz and Osiel Treviño in the minority.