It did not take long for the San Marcos Area League of Women Voters mayoral debate to devolve into debacle on Monday.
Seconds into his opening statement, challenger Thomas Prentice was reproached by the debate moderator for pacing while he talked instead of standing idle behind the head table as debate rules specified. Soon he was tussling with league chapter president Carole Belver for possession of a microphone. An expressionless Mayor Daniel Guerrero looked on as moderator Brenda Smith summoned Hays County constables, one of whom had just debated, to insist that Prentice not wander around while delivering his remarks.
After the debate resumed, Prentice used every question from the moderator and audience to return to his signature issues of climate change awareness and anti-corporatism. Prentice, who is undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma, has made a spectacle of all his public appearances during his mayoral campaign including an incident at San Marcos City Hall last month when he refused to yield the podium after his time had expired.
At Monday’s forum, Guerrero touted gains in protecting the natural environment and reversing brain drain, the perennial mass exodus of Texas State students to seek employment elsewhere after their graduation.
CORRECTION: This post originally said Prentice is being treated for skin cancer. He is being treated for a type of lymphoma.
COVER: San Marcos mayoral candidate Thomas Prentice brandishes a dowel rod as part of an illustration about rising sea levels during his opening remarks at a mayoral debate on Monday. Prentice had run afoul of debate rules requiring participants to stay seated or standing in one place and Hays County Pct. 4 Constable Ron Hood was summoned to eject Prentice from the proceedings. San Marcos Area League of Women Voters president Carole Belver, left, tried to confiscate Prentice’s microphone before he agreed to return to the stage and was allowed to continue speaking. MERCURY PHOTO by BRAD ROLLINS