By ANDY SEVILLA
Election Day in San Marcos ended with incumbent City Councilmember John Thomaides securing his third term by a resounding margin, while the results in a three-way council race with no incumbent remain to be developed in the next few days.
Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commissioner Ryan Thomason finished three votes short of claiming the Place 5 seat vacated by Pam Couch, leaving open the possibility of a recount, a run-off against academic advisor Lisa Marie Coppoletta, or both. Coppoletta finished a distant second to Thomason, who culled 924 of 1,960 votes (49.9 percent). Coppoletta drew 504 votes (26.2 percent), while small business owner Shaune Maycock attracted 460 votes (23.91 percent).
Thomaides trounced the rest of a three-candidate field, taking 1,228 of 1,938 votes. Beauty consultant Monica Garcia finished second in the Place 6 race with 560 votes (28.9 percent), while retired civil servant Anita Fuller drew 150 votes (7.74 percent).
The turnout in San Marcos was 7.09 percent, only 2,049 of 28,883 registered voters. On each of 11 Texas constitutional amendments put to statewide vote, about eight percent of the eligible voters across Texas participated. A mayor’s race in Houston, which drew 19.1 percent of that city’s voters, inflated the statewide totals.
While Thomaides savored an easy victory, Thomason’s immediate concern was whether to ask Hays County Elections Administrator Joyce Cowan for a recount, then to consider a month of run-off campaigning. Thomason’s camp held out hope that their candidate could make up three votes in the pending review of out-of-state and overseas ballots, as well as provisional ballots.
Thomason said the election has left him “exhausted,” but added that fight is not done.
As of the campaign finance reports from eight days before the election, Thomason raised more money ($6,825) than Coppoletta and Maycock combined ($3,999.50). Thomason spent $5,182.17, while Maycock spent $4,716.16 and Coppoletta spent $2,850.29). However, Thomason said he didn’t “think the money meant anything. It didn’t bring out the vote.” Thomason said support from the San Marcos police and fire fighters associations, along with his family and friends “did so much” for his campaign.
Thomason said Tuesday night that he’s unsure what he needs to secure a win in a run-off election. He said his campaign “definitely need(s) to make more calls and inform people of the voting date and polling places,” adding that “this will be a different race, but we don’t know what’s going to bring out people to the voting booths.”
Coppoletta could not be reached for comment. Coppoletta has campaigned for city council almost non-stop since August 2008. After she lost to incumbent Chris Jones in November 2008, she announced in January that she would run in Tuesday night’s election. In an election with relatively heavy turnout, Coppoletta took 44.4 percent of the vote (4,925) in November 2008, compared to 55.6 percent for Jones (6,168).
Maycock said he will neither endorse nor support either Thomason or Coppoletta in a possible run-off election.
“Both of my opponents (Thomason and Coppoletta) will have their work cut out for them, and I wish them both luck,” Maycock said. “But I don’t think Lisa (Coppoletta) is the type of individual we need on council … And I think Ryan (Thomason) is a decent guy, but I cannot throw my support behind someone that is backed by so many special interest groups. I don’t think when you’re backed by special interest groups, that you can make independent decisions that a councilmember needs to make.”
Maycock said he will continue working in the community and focusing on next year. He is considering another run for council next November.
“I’m not gonna quit,” Maycock said. “So, most likely, I’ll run again next year. I’m still very committed and I feel strongly about getting on council. I want to show the people whose vote I did not get that I’m committed still to making sure good things happen for San Marcos. People have my phone number and email address. I’m still available and willing to extend a hand to my community.”
In the Place 6 race, Thomaides crushed his competition with 63.36 percent of the vote (1,228 votes). Beauty consultant Monica Garcia brought in 28.90 percent of voter support (560 votes), while retired civil servant Anita Fuller drew 7.74 percent (150 votes).
“I feel great,” Thomaides said. “I’m so happy and proud of and for my team. We all worked so hard. And I think it proves that we have a broad base of support throughout the city, and that they believe in our message … I think they rewarded me for my voting record on council this past six years.”
Neither Garcia nor Fuller could be reached for comment.
Campaigning hard to avert a run-off, Thomaides raised ($9,464.57) and spent ($8,173.63) more money on this race than any other council candidate as of eight days before the election. Garcia raised $4,689.94 and spent $2,264.90, while Fuller raised nothing and spent $527.72.
The low turnout in San Marcos raised as many eyebrows as the results. In last November’s city election, which decided the mayor and two council seats, 12,882 voted in the mayoral election. But last year’s election was concurrent with a presidential race and decisions on the two Hays County commissioners who represent San Marcos, not to mention a $207 million Hays County road bond.
“More people should have gotten out to vote,” said Couch, who served as Thomason’s treasurer and stands to spend an extra month on the council if Thomason faces a run-off. “It was such an important vote and it’s sad to see such a low turnout on such an important decision. I’m very disappointed in that turnout.”Email | Print