Add the May elections and primary runoffs to the list of postponements in Hidalgo County as a response to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The Hidalgo County Commissioners Court on Tuesday voted to reschedule May municipal and school elections administered by the election department until Nov. 3.
During that meeting, Elections Administrator Yvonne Ramón also informed that Gov. Greg Abbott postponed the May 26 primary runoffs until July 14.
Assistant Director Hilda Salinas said the impacted county runoffs include the Justice of the Peace Precinct 4, Place 1 race between incumbent Charlie Espinoza and challenger Jaime Rene Chavana. There’s also a runoff between Mayra Rivera and Laura J. Nunn for Republican chair of Precinct 96.
On the state level, Sara Stapleton-Barrera’s challenge to District 27 incumbent state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. also ended in a runoff. Like the county races, that runoff will be decided on July 14.
As for the May elections, Ramón told the commissioners that she will be sending an email to 11 entities letting them know that Hidalgo County would not administer their elections. However, those entities are still in charge of their own elections and can still hold them in May should they choose to.
When asked what those 11 entities were, Salinas told the newspaper it needed to file an open records request for that information and would not identify the entities.
Salinas did say that the elections department has not entered into any contracts for the May elections.
Elections records do show, however, that the department administered elections for six cities, four school districts and a utilities district four years ago.
Those entities included the cities of Elsa, Granjeño, Hidalgo, La Villa, Mercedes and Mission; school districts including Donna, Mission, Progreso and Weslaco; and the Agua Special Utility District.
It is unknown whether these are the same 11 entities Ramón told commissioners she would contact because Salinas would not identify the entities.
However, several of the entities that Hidalgo County has previously administered elections for have already made decisions on whether to hold elections in May.
During a special meeting on Monday, the Mercedes City Commission voted to postpone the election until November. The city of Mission took the same step on Monday as well, voting to reschedule its election until November.
As for Granjeño, Mayor Yvette Cabrera said that city is not having a May election because all of those up for re-election are running unopposed.
Both the Donna and Weslaco independent school districts hold their elections in November, according to notices on their websites.
School districts in Mission and Progreso are scheduled for elections in May, according to online district documentation.
A staffer at the city of Hidalgo told the newspaper that the election there is held in November.
The city of La Villa has an agenda item about its election scheduled for consideration on Tuesday evening, according to a city representative.
The newspaper was unable to reach someone at the city of Elsa by deadline.
And a staffer at Agua SUD said the general manager was not at the office and could not answer questions about the utility’s election until Wednesday.