On May 4, 2019, residents of San Antonio cast their votes to elect their next mayor, whittling a crowded race among nine candidates down to just two. Incumbent Mayor Ron Nirenberg and City Councilman Greg Brockhouse emerged far ahead of the rest of the field to advance to a runoff on June 8. Nirenberg won 49 percent of the vote, while Brockhouse won 46 percent. The remaining seven candidates in this nonpartisan race each won less than one percent of the votes cast.
As Nirenberg and Brockhouse brace for the runoff election this Saturday, here’s a look at the candidates, their campaign money, and how they stack up against each other.
In 2017, Nirenberg defeated then-incumbent Ivy Taylor, who was the first African-American woman to serve as mayor of any major U.S. city. Nirenberg ran to her left and helped oust her with help from San Antonio’s LGBTQ community.
Nirenberg was hoping to easily secure a second term, but his tenure and reelection has not been without conflict. Nirenberg ruffled feathers among conservative voters in the community when he worked to prevent San Antonio from bidding to be a host site for the 2020 Republican National Convention. He again stoked conservative opposition when he helped to ban Chick-Fil-A from the San Antonio airport. Nirenberg defended his position on the City Council decision by claiming, “There are many people in the community that are uncomfortable with Chick-Fil-A,” and that the restaurant’s values did not comport with the city’s message of inclusion.
An outspoken and sometimes controversial candidate, Greg Brockhouse has served as a San Antonio City Councilman since 2017. His mayoral campaign gained traction when he attempted to overturn the ban on Chick-Fil-A. His effort failed by a vote of 6-5 with Mayor Nirenberg voting against Chick-Fil-A.
Brockhouse’s campaign, however, has been marred by allegations of a police report responding to a domestic abuse call in 2009. Both Brockhouse and his wife have denied the abuse and have suggested that Nirenberg may be behind the allegation.
|Ron Nirenberg||Greg Brockhouse|
|Total Number of Contributions||552||128|
|Cost Per Vote||$10.44||$1.56|
|Cash on Hand||$87,903||$11,455|
While the San Antonio mayoral race, like many municipal races, is classified as a nonpartisan election, the parties have certainly picked sides. The Texas Democratic Party has endorsed Nirenberg. The Republican Party of Bexar County and the Alamo City Republican Women’s Club have both endorsed Brockhouse.
Residents of San Antonio will know by Saturday night whether Nirenberg’s sizable cash advantage can help him hold on to his job as mayor, or whether the Chick-Fil-A kerfuffle is enough to motivate more conservative-minded voters to elect Brockhouse.
*According to reports filed with San Antonio City Hall.
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