Early voting by personal appearance continues this week in the special election runoff for Weslaco’s District 4 city commission seat.
Voting began last Monday, with 103 voters turning out to the polls that first day. After one week of early voting, voter turnout stands at 395 ballots cast by personal appearance or via mail-in ballot, according to county records.
Voters are tasked with choosing between the two men who earned the highest number of votes after July 16’s four-way race resulted in no one candidate earning more than 50% of the vote.
The two candidates are Guadalupe “Lupe” Garcia, who ran against now-former District 4 Commissioner Gerardo “Jerry” Tafolla last November, and Adrian Farias, who previously ran for mayor against current Mayor David Suarez in 2013.
The two men are running to fill the vacancy created in May, when Tafolla resigned from office in the wake of pleading guilty to federal programs bribery in connection to a $38.5 million rehabilitation project of the city’s water treatment facilities.
Four men threw their names in the hat to vie for the vacancy during the one-week candidate filing window for the July 16 special election: Farias, Garcia, Humberto “Beto” Chavez and Roy Hernandez Jr.
Farias won the most votes then, with 285 out of the 644 ballots cast. Garcia won 175 votes.
Early voting continues this week, from Monday through 7 p.m. Friday. Election Day is next Tuesday, Aug. 27. Voters may cast their ballots at the Weslaco Business Visitor & Event Center from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, Monday marks the last day for candidates to file their applications in the upcoming November regular election. Candidates must submit their applications to the city secretary’s office by 5 p.m.
Three seats on the commission will be up for a vote Nov. 5: the mayor, as well as Districts 5 and 6.