McAllen school races attract over 4,000 during early voting

With early voting wrapped up, McAllen school board candidates are preparing for the final day of voting Saturday with the latest reports showing most are keeping their campaigns modest in size.

The school district race attracted 4,398 voters during the early voting period in which there were three polling sites open. This exceeded most of the city races in Hidalgo County, including McAllen’s city election which saw 1,159 ballots cast in early voting.

Candidates collectively raised over $40,000 and spent about that much in the near last stretch of the election season, according to a campaign finance report due eight days before Election Day.

Campaign finances and expenditures were one-sided for Place 5.

Place 5 challenger Don Delaney has not received contributions to his campaign and did not make any expenditure from Feb. 1 to April 30. In contrast, incumbent Daniel Vela has raised $600 in contributions and spent over $5,000 in printing expenses and other fees according to the latest campaign finance report. Vela has served on the school board since 2007.

His campaign reached out to voters through different means such as print, radio and television, Vela said. The school board races may have been “driving the votes” in the current election season.

The race for Place 4 is closely contested. Challenger Gina Karam Millin and incumbent Tony Forina have spent over $5,000 each in the latest reporting period. Millin, who is also an attorney, has the highest expenditures of any candidate, spending over $9,000, according to her report. She also has the most political contributions, a total of $17,622.

Forina raised $2,525 and spent $5,329 during the same reporting period. Both candidates have actively campaigned and attended public debates.

Attorney Lynse Guerra is vying for Conrado “Ito” Alvarado’s Place 2 seat. Guerra is familiar to some voters as she ran a campaign for Place 7 in 2017, losing to trustee Sam Saldivar.

Guerra raised $10,839 and spent $7,192 during this period. Her opponent, Alvarado, raised $7,125 and spent less than $5,000.

Candidate Juan “Johnny” Cano is running for Place 1 against incumbent Marco Suarez.

Cano raised $750 and spent about $420 according to the campaign finance report. Suarez raised $2,000 and expended $8,235.

Early voting ended on Tuesday, and voters have a final chance to cast their ballots on Saturday.

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