New commissioner elected in Pharr, San Juan incumbent headed for runoff

A new commissioner will likely take over Pharr’s Place 6 City Commission seat, while the only incumbent commissioner in Pharr to face a challenge won comfortably, according to unofficial election results Saturday.

Itza Flores, who works in the Edcouch-Elsa Independent School District, is set to take over the Place 6 commission seat, once the results are finalized, from Mario Bracamontes, who did not run for reelection.

Flores, who ran as part of a slate called “Pharr Forward,” which included Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, who ended up with no opponent, defeated social worker Lorena Singh. Flores received 1,702 votes (63%) compared to Singh’s 1,009 (37%).

Incumbent Place 1 Commissioner Eleazar Guajardo, who also ran as part of the “Pharr Forward” slate, faced a challenge from insurance agent Daniela Zuñiga. But Guajardo won comfortably with 1,648 votes (60%) compared to Zuniga’s 1,078 (40%).

In neighboring San Juan, incumbent City Commissioner Pedro “Pete” Garcia could not reach the 50% threshold to win his election outright on Saturday, and will likely head to a runoff election against Marco “Markie” Villegas once the votes are canvassed.

Garcia, who has served one term on the city commission, will try to fend off Villegas, who is a teacher for the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District, where his father serves on the board. Garcia received 1,175 votes (48%) compared to Villegas’s 1,024 votes (42%). The third candidate, Fernando Castillo, received 244 votes (10%).

In San Juan’s other contested election, incumbent Commissioner Leonardo “Lenny” Sanchez walloped challenger Erasmo “Eddie” Garcia, handing him a 69% to 31% defeat.

Editor’s note: This story was corrected to indicate Itza Flores works at the Edcouch-Elsa school district.