Though Mayor Susan Narvaiz, left, is not running for re-election, city council candidate Griffin Spell, center, is running against her. Spell said Councilmember Kim Porterfield, right, does what Narvaiz tells her to do on the council.
By ANDY SEVILLA
Sam Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz, who announced last week that she would not seek another term in office, indicated that she did not make her decision from a belief that she couldn’t win.
Narvaiz said she had $25,000 committed to her by supporters who wanted her to run again. As of the July 15 campaign finance reports filed at City Hall, Narvaiz had $62.65 in her campaign fund, well behind the $18,378.79 in the bank for City Councilmember John Thomaides, who was the first to announce his intention to seek the mayor’s office in November.
“I could win,” Narvaiz said. “I know the support was there for me to continue. I would have been successful.”
Former City Councilmember Daniel Guerrero said Narvaiz’ attitude is appropriate for anyone seeking elected office.
“Otherwise,” Guerrero said, “what’s the point?”
Thomaides said he had no comment on Narvaiz assertion that she would have won if she had run.
Narvaiz said the time had come for her to seek new opportunities. Although she said the city has taken great strides under her administration, she added that an elected official can only be effective for so long before it’s time to let someone else lead.
Though Narvaiz would not detail her future plans, she said she will consider her options and follow wherever God leads her.
Narvaiz said her decision came after 21 days of fasting and prayer. Then, she said, she and her family made the decision for Narvaiz to vacate the city’s highest elected office.
Though Narvaiz is not running, council candidate Griffin Spell is making her an issue in his bid to unseat incumbent Kim Porterfield for a city council seat. Spell, a Texas State political science major, said he’s running out of “general frustration” with the council’s split votes on recent controversial issues, adding that one of his goals is to build consensus on the dais.
Spell said he chose to run against Porterfield, as opposed to any of the other three seats lacking an incumbent, because, he said, Porterfield is not an autonomous voice on the council.
“I tend to think (Porterfield) is doing what (Narvaiz) is telling her to,” Spell said. “She’s not an independent thinker.”
Spell said his run is out of “love” for San Marcos, adding that he wants to see smart development, fiscal responsibility, improved town and gown relations, transparency in government, and confidence restored in the city council.
Spell said challenging Porterfield will be “an uphill battle” that voters will decide in his favor.
Porterfield said she is “definitely an independent thinker” on the dais and that she weighs each issue on its merits before ultimately voting her conscience.
Porterfield said she welcomes the challenge posed by Spell, adding that it’s part of the democratic process. She said she wouldn’t comment on “personal attacks” made by Spell, and instead referred citizens to her voting record.
As of last Friday, Thomaides and Guerrero will face each other for the mayor’s seat, while Porterfield is being challenged by Spell. Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commissioner Jude Prather is the lone candidate for the seat being vacated by Councilmember Gaylord Bose. Thomaides’ unexpired term is being being contested by retired law enforcement officer Rodney van Oudekerke and businessman Shane Scott.
The last day to file candidacy for the mayor’s seat and the seats presently held by Porterfield and Bose is Aug. 24. The last day to file for Thomaides’ unexpired term is Aug. 30.
Oct. 4 is the last day to register to vote for the Nov. 2 election.Email | Print