Published: April 17, 2013
City and school elections, Fiesta’s official afterparty (we kid), technically begin April 29 when early voting opens. The early voting closes May 7, but you can also swing by your local polls on Election Day, May 11. Visit sanantonio.gov/clerk/elections to find your appropriate voting location and get other importantinformation. With a few notable exceptions, detailed below, this election cycle is blander than most. There’s only one open seat, in District 8, and many current council members running for re-election, including Mayor Julián Castro, have Teflon reputations despite several ethical lapses that have plagued COSA lately. Nevertheless, with the exception of District 1, each race is contested. Click here to view most candidates’ responses to our thorough city and mayoral candidate questionnaire.
Apparently, Council member David Medina is inevitable. That was the message when the local police union, somewhat begrudgingly, endorsed him for a third term. Mayor Julián Castro, typically seen as a crusader for LGBT rights, similarly raised eyebrows when he endorsed Medina last month, calling him “a transformative leader for the City of San Antonio.” Other controversies aside (which we’ll get to in a minute), the devoutly religious Medina has never courted the LGBT community. In 2011, when Council passed domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples, Medina voted against the measure.
How the guy’s still considered electable confuses us here at the Current. In December, the E-N reported on Medina’s “rate of absenteeism unparalleled by any of his colleagues,” reinforcing D5 activists’ longstanding grumbling that they have an MIA councilman.
Then there’s the embarrassing tale of the traffic stop gone haywire. In November, when officers pulled over Medina’s sister, she refused to present a driver’s license, and Medina’s father got called out to the scene. David Medina Sr. got so angry that a fight broke out, during which he wielded an infant as a “human shield,” according to the police report. Cops ultimately tasered and arrested Medina’s father.
According to the E-N’s Gilbert Garcia, the councilman showed up at the scene, and “eyeballed every cop in sight, and even called one of the male officers a ‘little bitch.’” Things got even more bat-shit when Medina followed his father to Baptist Hospital downtown, where the elder Medina was brought for injuries sustained during the roadside scuffle. Medina refused to stay out of the hospital room, and at one point, according to Garcia, officers had to physically remove him.
We’d love to give you Medina’s side of things. He didn’t return our questionnaire, routinely fails to return calls, and, when West Side activists organized a forum for D5 hopefuls at the Guadalupe Theater, Medina was the sole no-show.
Naturally, there’s a crowded field of candidates hoping to steal Medina’s seat, including local businessman Richard Cardenas and Shirley Gonzales, whose campaign is being run by former Bexar County Democratic Party chair Choco Meza.
> Email Michael Barajas