2015-05-13 / Front Page

Mayor, municipal judge races set for runoffs


The voters spoke out during Saturday’s city election, choosing a new city commissioner and sending the mayor and municipal court judge races to run-off elections expected to be held sometime in June.

Political newcomer Chris Lopez Tamez defeated longtime city commissioner Mary Gutierrez by a 827-to- 602 vote, while Commissioner Yolanda Alexandre retained her seat by beating opponent Richard Flores III with 726 votes against Flores’ 602 votes.

But the biggest surprise of Saturday’s election was the rise of yet another political newcomer in the race for city mayor.

Gilbert Gonzales, a semi retired employee with L&F Distributors, was the second vote getter with 387 votes in a race that pitted six candidates for the mayor‘s seat.

“I am new at this and very excited as well,” Gonzales said. “I feel very confident. I told my wife - win, lose or draw - I was going to give it a shot.”

He said he has been approached already by one of the candidates who ran in the race and will talk to the others about getting their support.

“As I said before, I am here for the people and not running on behalf of a group,” Gonzales said. “I feel my ideas would be good for Raymondville.”

Sosa, a former mayor whose family bought several rundown sheds along Fourth North Street with the idea of revitalizing that part of town, said he is happy with the election result after getting 17 more votes than Gonzales, or 404 votes.

“I knew there was going to be a runoff,” he said. “I have to get back on the campaign trail and try a second time.”

Sosa said the people came out and voted, and added they are going to do it again.

His sister, Deborah, sought and received a grant from the Raymondville Economic Development Corp. for more than $172,000 based on job creation to demolish and clean the area based-on job, but after looking at the ups and downs of that they decided to use their own money instead.

The plan to have a cold storage open by the end of last year or early 2015 is on hold.

The other candidates, Joe Alexandre, Aurora Pedraza, Armando Moncevaiz and Ruben Rodriguez, came in the same order by vote numbers.

Alexandre got 320 votes, Pedraza received 167 votes, Moncevaiz obtained 63 votes and Rodriguez garnered 39 votes.

Meanwhile, Lopez Tamez, who along with her family owns the first liquor store in town, said she couldn’t be more happy with Saturday’s election result.

“I would like to thank everybody from Raymondville who came out and voted,” she said. “I am ready to go to work.”

In the municipal court judge race, Armin “Mino” Martinez, did not get 51 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff.

He received 658 votes, while Felicita Diaz Gutierrez got 526 votes. A third candidate, Pete Rosales, obtained 234 votes.

In the Raymondville school district races, Daniel Garcia defeated Cyndie Cruz by 556 votes to 335 votes.

Jaime Villarreal won over Andres Davi Maldonado with a 676-to-229 vote.

In other contested races throughout the county, Albert Cavazos won a seat on the Lyford City Council by getting 136 votes, while Justin Ramirez received 102 votes.

In the Lyford school district race, incumbent Viola Zamarripas took 420 votes, while Andy Cortez took 235 votes.

Mike Hinojosa defeated incumbent Priscilla Garcia Lopez with 357 votes to 211 votes.

In San Perlita school district, incumbents Melissa Guadiana, Nora Vasquez and Joe David Kilbourn retained their seats, while Ruben Garza won a board’s seat.

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