Former San Marcos Mayor David Chiu celebrates his election to the San Marcos CISD school board by making beef chow mein in the kitchen of his Mexican restaurant, Tres Hermanas.
By BILL PETERSON
San Marcos voters went with proven vote getters in Saturday’s school board election, returning Trustees President Judy Allen for her third straight term and putting David Chiu, the former trustee and former San Marcos mayor, back on the board after a nine-year absence.
Allen easily polled the most votes with 726, followed by Chiu with 603. Political newcomer Vincent Delgado totaled 447 votes, followed by San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance founder Chris North with 263.
The top two recipients among the four candidates are to be seated to two at-large positions on the board.
Allen said the election is a sign that voters see improvements in the San Marcos CISD, which was blighted ten years ago with financial problems and old facilities. Since Allen first went on the board in 2003, the school district passed a $122.7 million bond in 2004 to build new schools.
“I’m really pleased, or else I wouldn’t have run,” Allen said. Later, remarking on her large vote as the only incumbent candidate, Allen said, “That’s some encouragement that people realize there are some good thing happening with the school board.”
The exact number of ballots cast was unknown at Saturday night’s count. However, considering that the candidates totaled 2,039 votes and each voter could pick two candidates, the number of ballots came to a few more than 1,000. In that case, an overwhelming majority of voters went with Allen.
Hays County Elections Administrator Joyce Cowan said the San Marcos CISD has a little fewer than 30,000 eligible voters, indicating that the turnout for this election came to a little more than three percent.
Chiu, who hasn’t held elected office since leaving the mayor’s office in 2002, spent $2,814.50 ($2,700 from his own resources), by far the most of any candidate, as of the May 1 financial disclosure filing.
“I was going to go to work, regardless,” Chiu said in the kitchen of his Mexican restaurant, Tres Hermanas, where he celebrated his win my making beef chow mein. “But by being elected to the school board, I have a little more of a bully pulpit to get people involved. If not elected, I was going to use my old bully pulpit from the sidelines.”
Allen said she was pleased by Chiu’s election to the seat left open when incumbent Tom Brown decided to not seek re-election.
“I think he’s going to be very good,” Allen said. “I’m excited about him going on. I look forward to working with him.”
Delgado, who had never before run for office, said he was disappointed with his showing. Delgado, a meter technician for the City of San Marcos, said he is unsure if he will take another try at the school board. He said he is all but certain he won’t run next year in District 4, where he lives, because he supports sitting Trustee Kathy Hansen.
“It’s my very first time,” said Delgado, a life-long San Marcos resident, about his political candidacy. “I’m not used to it. I’m a little down. I kept telling my friends to go vote for me and they kept saying, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow.’ Well, tomorrow has come and gone.”
North developed a core of support for her campaign to bring greater transparency to the school board, including 14 contributors who gave her $100 or more, the most of any candidate as of the May 1 filing. Despite her low vote total, North said she will continue working for her causes.
“Now, the real work starts,” she said.
The early voting foretold the final outcome. Allen took the most early votes with 284, followed by Chiu with 230, Delgado with 135 and North with 55.
The same order persisted in the Election Day totals, with Allen taking 442 votes, followed by Chiu with 373, Delgado with 312 and North with 208.Email | Print