Edinburg majority up for grabs as Place 3 race heads to runoff

EDINBURG — The former police chief here defeated the Place 4 incumbent, delivering a blow to the current council majority, but the fight for control of the city is not yet over.

Former Police Chief David White managed to obtain 376 more votes than Edinburg Councilman David Torres, according to unofficial results released by the Hidalgo County Elections Department Tuesday night.

White received 56% of the early vote, with 3,659 ballots cast in his favor, while Torres received 44%, with 2,846 votes.

Neither of them returned calls for comment Tuesday night.

White, however, gave a victory speech at a party with Edinburg Municipal Judge Terry Palacios, who also won his reelection bid Tuesday, in which he thanked supporters and spoke briefly about his vision for the city.

“We’re going to bring back honest government,” he said. “If you ask a question, you deserve an answer. You ask me a question, I’ll give you an answer. You may not like the answer, but you deserve and answer.”

White’s win could shift the power away from the current majority, which includes Mayor Richard Molina and Councilman Jorge Salinas.

However, that remains to be seen because the race for Place 3 will continue to play out in the coming weeks, and the majority still has an ally in Place 3 candidate Deanna “Coach” Dominguez.

None of the four candidates in the race for Place 3 received more than 50% of the early vote, which means the top two vote-getters, Dominguez and Juan “Johnny” Garcia, will face each other again in a runoff election.

Carlos Jasso and Marc Roque, who were also vying for Edinburg Councilman Homer Jasso Jr.’s seat, did not make the cut.

Dominguez led the pack with 2,238 ballots cast in her favor, or 35% of the vote.

Garcia came in at second place with 33% of the vote, or 2,104 ballots cast in his favor.

Jasso received 1,875 votes, or the equivalent of 29%, while Roque obtained 239 votes, or 4%.

Dominguez said she would celebrate with her family Tuesday night and did not respond to a request for comment after the results were released.

Garcia, a funeral director and partner at Ceballos-Diaz Funeral Home, said he would reassess his campaign and find a way to come out on top by talking to those who didn’t cast a vote and those who supported Jasso and Roque.

“I’ve been a public servant in this community for over 25 years, and I want to continue to serve them, help bring a positive image, bring some new ideas and work together with other agencies and other cities,” Garcia said. “There’s so much division in our city when we should all have the same common goal.”

The small business owner also pledged to work on the city’s image.

“We have to lift the morale and spirit of the city, but it has to start with the employees, where they look forward to coming to work,” he said. “I want to be able to equip the current employees that we have with the right tools so that they can be effective … where we’re not micromanaging a city.”