KYLE — Jaime Sanchez, who failed in a previous bid to join the Kyle City Council but succeeded in a lawsuit against the city, has announced his candidacy for the council in a special election to be held on Feb. 13.
Sanchez is running for the at-large city council seat being vacated by Councilmember Lucy Johnson, who has announced her candidacy for mayor. The mayor’s seat came open two weeks ago, when Mayor Mike Gonzalez announced that he is running in the Republican primary for Hays County Precinct 2 Commissioner against Hays CISD Trustee Mark Jones.
Another Kyle Councilmember, Ray Bryant, has also resigned his seat to run in the Democratic primary for Precinct 2 Commissioner. The present Precinct 2 Commissioner, Jeff Barton (D-Kyle) is expected to run for county judge against incumbent Liz Sumter (D-Wimberley) in the Democratic primary.
Sanchez is a Kyle native who graduated from Hays High School and received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas-San Antonio. An engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Sanchez is married with three children.
The candidate said he is concerned that the city has run a debt of more than $70 million for capital improvement projects and now finds itself servicing that debt and contemplating additional projects in the midst of the national recession.
“Tough decisions are in the near future and my experience, dedication and leadership makes me ready for the challenges ahead,” Sanchez said. “As an Engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation, I served our citizens of Texas advising districts statewide on million dollar construction and maintenance transportation projects.”
Mike Fulton, a information technician, U.S. Army veteran and volunteer firefighter for the Kyle Fire Department (KFD), also has reportedly announced he will run for the seat.
Local banker Russell Huebner has announced that he is running for Bryant’s council seat. No other candidate has emerged. Nor has an opponent emerged for Johnson in the Kyle mayor’s race.
Sanchez ran unsuccessfully for the Kyle City Council in 2006. At the time, he had an active lawsuit in the city over a property dispute. Sanchez later received a ruling in his favor from a Hays County jury in district court.
The jury ordered a judgment of $35,000 for Sanchez. Kyle reportedly spent $50,000 on legal fees, meaning the case cost the city at least $85,000.
At a tax foreclosure sale in 2003, Sanchez purchased downtown property adjacent to his home. When he began to put up a fence, the city showed him that maps indicating the property belonged to Kyle and ordered him to stop.
Sanchez filed suit in 2005, arguing that the city could do no better than produce a plat from 1883 and a map from 1968, and that the city collected taxes on the property for decades before he purchased it.