If needed, McAllen runoff election likely on June 22

McALLEN — If none of the three candidates for the District 5 seat on the city commission earn more than 50% of the vote in the May 4 election, there will be a runoff election that will likely fall on June 22.

A discussion Monday between city commissioners and the city manager during a workshop determined that June 22 is likely the most sensible Saturday for a runoff election, since June 15 is too close to Father’s Day and June 29 is too close to the Fourth of July, city officials said Monday.

Early voting began Monday for the May 4 municipal elections in Texas, and voters in McAllen will be deciding two commission seats, one of which bears the stronger possibility of going to a runoff. District 5 Commissioner John Ingram has represented central McAllen since 2005, and he is facing challenges from Victor “Seby” Haddad, a banker and a businessman, and Mark Murray, a South Texas College professor. While incumbents have historically been tough to beat in McAllen — only one has lost in the last 20 years — there is still the possibility of a runoff.

The last runoff election in McAllen was just last year, in a special election to fill the seat of Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez, who vacated the District 1 post to run for the countywide office. District 1 Commissioner Javier Villalobos fended off opponent Timothy Wilkins to win the runoff election in March 2018.

The other contested city commission race is for the District 4 commission seat, after incumbent Aida Ramirez decided earlier this year she will not seek another term after 18 years on the commission. Running to represent southwest McAllen is Joe Califa, a retired city planner, and Tania Ramirez, an attorney entangled in a voter fraud investigation from the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

Early voting lasts until April 30. City commissioners are expected to vote at their next city commission meeting to officially declare June 22 the runoff election date.