Garcia wins in Edinburg; new mayor for La Joya

Voters in Edinburg and La Joya had their final say in runoff elections Tuesday.

In Edinburg, voters elected Juan “Johnny” Garcia to fill the Place 3 seat that Homer Jasso Jr. will soon vacate, according to the unofficial runoff results. Garcia bested Deanna “Coach” Dominguez by 1,533 votes.

Garcia received 64% of the vote, with 3,424 ballots cast in his favor. Dominguez received 36% of the vote, with 1,891 votes.

“I think the city was looking for that change, and it’s like I told everybody while I was out campaigning, that seat doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the community,” Garcia said. “I’m just glad they’ve given me the opportunity to serve the community of Edinburg.”

Tuesday’s results differed from the November Election Day results, which had initially placed Dominguez as the top vote-getter. During the November election, Dominguez led the pack with 2,238 votes, while Garcia trailed with 2,104 votes.

The runoff race in many ways resembled the Edinburg November 2017 municipal election, drawing similar battles lines between two factions.

Garcia appears to have garnered the support of the former administration, led by former Edinburg Mayor Richard Garcia, and the Palacios family, a long-time political powerhouse in Hidalgo County.

Dominguez had the support of Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina, who successfully replaced the former majority with his own faction in 2017.

Tuesday’s election results, however, ensure that Molina, the embattled mayor accused of cheating his way into office, no longer holds the majority. Molina and his wife were indicted on engaging in organized election fraud charges earlier this year, and their jury trial is set for March 2020.

In the meantime, Garcia said he’s ready to get to work and meet each and every city employee to thank them for the work they do for the residents.

“I feel great,” Garcia said. “I feel blessed.”

La Joya voters also took their city in a new direction after voting in a new mayor and his two political supporters in a runoff election Tuesday night.

None of the three municipal races were decided in the Nov. 5 election.

Voters ousted La Joya Mayor Fito Salinas and replaced him with Isidro Casanova, the former police chief of La Joya. Casanova received 61% of the vote, with 931 ballots cast in his favor. Salinas obtained 39%, with 598 votes.

Casanova’s running mate, Roger Hernandez bested Daniel Flores Jr. for the Place 2 commission seat. Hernandez received 64% of the vote, with 978 ballots cast in his favor. Flores obtained 36%, with 541 votes.

In the race for Place 4 commissioner, Laura Mendiola Macias, another Casanova running mate, defeated Dalia Arriaga. Macias received 63% of the vote, with 965 ballots cast in her favor, while Arriaga obtained 37%, with 564 votes.