Daniel Guerrero is all smiles after realizing Tuesday night that he had won election as mayor of San Marcos. Photos by Andy Sevilla.
By ANDY SEVILLA
Despite a difficult week during which his campaign was tarnished by newspaper reports that he was dishonest with voters, Daniel Guerrero still came from behind on Election Day to defeat Councilmember John Thomaides and win election as mayor of San Marcos.
Guerrero, 33, beat Thomaides by a mere 41 votes, 3,460 to 3,419. Guerrero actually was behind when the early votes and absentee ballots were counted, with Thomaides being named on 2,217 of those ballots, compared with 2,159 for Guerrero.
But Guerrero stormed back on Election Day, during which he claimed 52 percent of the vote. Guerrero was the choice on 1,301 Election Day ballots, while 1,202 voted for Thomaides on Tuesday.
Said Guerrero to his supporters as he claimed victory at his Tuesday night rally, “Everyone has been saying since yesterday, ‘You got it, you got it, you got it,’ and you see those (election) numbers come in and you start getting worried, but the thing that motivated me the most today, and there was just a sense of calm throughout the last week, and despite all the anger and hate that you saw that was being cast out, everyone kept saying ‘We’re praying for you, we’re praying for you. I had so many groups tell me, ‘Our entire church is praying for you.’ I had friends in Kuwait that were praying for me. It’s been an awesome experience, and it’s because of each and every one of you. And I will do my very best to serve. And I can tell you right now, I’m going to need your help, big time. Because, first of all, I don’t know everything, I’m very dependent in making sure that I have good people around me all the time.”
Guerrero’s win ended a suspenseful night, as the lead switched back and forth with every announcement of precinct boxes being added in to the totals. With one box remaining, Thomaides held a lead of 85 votes. But that box was Precinct 113 on the south side of the city. But Guerrero smashed Thomaides at that box, 235-109, and Guerrero claimed victory at the finish line.
Guerrero attributed his success to prayer, and to the help, love, and support of family and friends.
“I’m very happy,” Guerrero said. “I’m very pleased. There was a lot of hard work, and I’m just pleased with the community coming out and really making sure that their voice was heard.”
Guerrero said he has no hard feelings after a bruising campaign. The mayoral campaign, at times, took on a negative approach, but Guerrero said there are no hard feelings.
“John and I have always had a good relationship,” Guerrero said. “I don’t think that changes. I think it’s just a matter of being able to understand that we have differences, we have different skills that we bring, different experiences, and know that we’re not always going to agree, but we have to at least acknowledge that we’re trying to work towards the same goal. I think John and I will continue to do that. And our community will continue to be able to move forward and serve the needs of San Marcos … I thank (Thomaides). He ran a great race. I will need to continue working with him. I still consider him a great friend, and I’ve learned a lot from John Thomaides, for years. I value his friendship and I will continue to work with him.”
Thomaides could not be reached for comment.
Guerrero was joined by three other candidates supported by outgoing Mayor Susan Narvaiz to seat a city council that stands to be virtually unanimous in its support of sprawling development.
Incumbent Councilmember Kim Porterfield defeated 2008 mayoral candidate David Newman, winning 3,250 votes, 52.77 percent. Porterfield claimed only 51.1 percent of the early vote, then put a 54-46 thumping on her challenger in Election Day voting.
“I’m very humbled and appreciative of my family, the people that volunteered to help with my campaign, and the citizens of San Marcos that have reelected me to continue the forward progress for all of San Marcos,” Porterfield said. “… I can tell you that I’ve learned a lot in the last three years. I’ve tried to be a good listener. I’ve tried to make decisions with the best knowledge that I’ve had to benefit the entire community, with a special emphasis on supporting education and responsible growth.”
Though Porterfield and Newman agreed on hardly any city issues, each said they appreciated the issue-oriented tone of the campaign.
“I’m disappointed in the results of the race, but I do acknowledge the outcome and I wish Kim Porterfield the best,” Newman said. “I think she ran a good race. I ran a good race, as well. I do believe I gave it my best effort. I commend her for keeping it above board, and I tried to do the same — no personal attacks — and address the issues rather than anything other than that. I wish her the best. We all live in the same city and we can make San Marcos a better place to live and keep it the city that we all love and cherish.”
Said Porterfield, “I wish (Newman) well. And I also appreciate that our campaign, our race, was about the issues and we both took the high road.”
Keeping close in line with early voting numbers and Election Day totals, Planning and Zoning Commissioner Jude Prather defeated hospital administrator Toby Hooper for the seat being vacated by retiring Councilmember Gaylord Bose.
Of the total 5,790 votes cast in the race, Prather attained 3,006 votes (51.92 percent), while Hooper had a smaller showing with 2,784 votes (48.08 percent). Hooper rallied slightly on Election Day after Prather claimed 52.53 percent of the early vote.
Prather was unable to enjoy the victory. He said on his Facebook page that he was in Arlington Tuesday night as his mother entered the final stages of her fight with cancer.
Shane Scott received the most comfortable win, taking 3,205 votes (54.60 percent) of the 5,870 votes cast in that race, while Rodney Van Oudekerke received 2,665 votes (45.40 percent). Like Guerrero and Porterfield, Scott improved his totals on Election Day, when he claimed 56 percent of the vote.
Scott said he appreciates the city and its residents. He said he enjoyed meeting a lot of people during the campaign and will always be available to all San Marcos residents who wish to speak with him. Scott joked that he left his card with his real phone number on the doors of about half of the city’s residents and said he welcomes dialogue with constituents.
“I want to thank (Van Oudekerke),” Scott said. “I thought he was a very, very admirable opponent. I felt that he brought a lot of historical elements to the community and felt like he’s an asset to the community and really wanted to stay involved and continue giving to this community, and he has my ear. I will definitely support any ideas he throws at me … We ran a very clean race. We started off as friends and we’re going to end off as friends, and I think that’s how races should be done in San Marcos.”
The city will host a formal reception on Nov. 15 to swear in the city council victors.
Victorious San Marcos City Council incumbent Kim Porterfield, left, embraces mayoral winner Daniel Guerrero, right, Tuesday night.Email | Print