Weslaco sets runoff date for commission seat

City Weslaco District 4 Commissioner candidate Adrian Farias campaigns outside of a polling place at Weslaco City Hall Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in Weslaco. (Joel Martinez | jmartinez@themonitor.com)

WESLACO — The Weslaco City Commission on Tuesday canvassed the results of last week’s special election to fill the unexpired term of the District 4 seat, officially declaring a runoff between Adrian Farias and Guadalupe “Lupe” Garcia.

Early voting in the contest will begin Monday, Aug. 12 and run through Friday Aug. 23. Polls will be open every day except Sunday, Aug. 18, City Secretary Myra Garza explained to the commission.

City of Weslaco District 4 Commissioner candidate Guadalupe “Lupe” Garcia campaigns outside of Weslaco City Hall Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in Weslaco. (Joel Martinez | jmartinez@themonitor.com)

Voting by personal appearance will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday each week of early voting, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, according to the city secretary.

On Election Day, Tuesday, Aug. 27, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Unlike last week’s special election, Weslaco’s District 4 voters will only have one polling place to cast their ballots: the Weslaco Business Visitor & Event Center, located at 275 S. Kansas Ave.

Farias and Garcia garnered the highest number of votes in a four-way race that saw no one candidate win more than 50% of the vote, which is required to win outright.

With a total of 644 ballots cast, some 16% of District 4’s 4,012 eligible voters turned out for the special election. Of that sum, 285 votes were cast for Farias — a total of 44.25%.

Garcia won 175 votes, or 27.17%.

The other two candidates vying for a place on the commission — Humberto “Beto” Chavez and Roy Hernandez Jr. — received 123 and 61 votes, respectively.

Farias was upbeat after the unofficial results were posted last Tuesday.

“I feel good, you know. I think the people are speaking about who they want in there,” he said at the time.

For Garcia, four candidates running made a runoff almost a foregone conclusion. It was an outcome he was hoping for, he said.

“We were just trying to get in a runoff, honestly,” Garcia said Tuesday, July 16.

Though both candidates were enthusiastic about the upcoming runoff, its timing comes at a pivotal moment in city business. Late summer is prime budget planning season for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

Weslaco City Manager Mike Perez said the runoff’s timing means the new commissioner will be installed after the bulk of informal budget talks have taken place in August.

“The two candidates are welcome to attend and sit in and listen, but they really can’t participate because they’re not a sitting commissioner yet,” Perez said, adding that he’s prepared to answer the new commissioner’s budget questions once a winner has been determined.