COVER: San Marcos Mayor Daniel Guerrero, center, and State Rep. Jason Isaac listen to Texas Gov. Rick Perry during a press conference touting sales tax-free weekend at the San Marcos Walmart in August 2012. PHOTO by OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
COMMENTARY by BRAD ROLLINS
Jonathan Sorenson, 27, the business manager for a local nursing home and rehabilitation center, and Patrick Montgomery, 40, an apartment location consultant, have filed to run against the two-term incumbent.
Guerrero, 37, is a generally popular figurehead who will certainly be tough to topple, particularly for two political newcomers with limited name recognition.
If Montgomery’s emotional orations at public meeting in recent years are a preview of the campaign he intends to run, the funk band musician seems most likely to play the role of a campaign jester cast in the mold of Thom Prentice. During his bombastic campaign against Guerrero two years ago, Prentice’s over-the-top rhetoric and theatrical antics served mainly to stampede mainstream voters into the mayor’s camp. Montgomery has asked to be listed on the ballot with the nickname“P-Martian,” an eye-roll-inducing indication that his participation threatens to turn the mayoral campaign into a farcical skit with Guerrero as the beneficiary.
Sorenson, meanwhile, has for months been carefully laying the groundwork for a campaign that seeks to ride a wave of popular discontent over new apartment construction that far outpaces that of single-family homes. Sorenson’s early statements on “smart growth” have been measured and thoughtful; on the other hand, his campaign announcement in May has also given the Guerrero campaign ample time to focus-group responses and rebuttals.
Guerrero’s hired guns may be unable, however, to remake the bed he’s already made for himself.
Last year, shortly after beginning his second term, Guerrero collected between $10,000 and $20,000 as a “retainer” from J.L. Powers & Associates, a Dripping Springs-based consulting firm representing clients that include major companies who do millions of dollars of business with the city of San Marcos, according to financial records reviewed by the San Marcos Mercury. The firm’s owner, former Hays County Judge Jim Powers, is hosting an Aug. 26 fundraiser for Guerrero at The University of Texas Club, the luxury Longhorn hangout at Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin.
Without a doubt, more of Guerrero’s private sector activities while serving as mayor will come to light in the months between now and Election Day. It is less certain whether Sorenson can capitalize on the opening especially with Montgomery doing his best, wittingly or not, to distract voters.
Place 3 council member John Thomaides, 48, the city’s longest-serving elected official currently in office, will be challenged by Michael Davis, 57, president of 3D Welding & Industrial Supply Inc. and a former planning and zoning commissioner.
Place 4 council member Wayne Becak, 65, a retired banker, faces a challenge from planning and zoning commissioner Jane Hughson, 59, a business process analyst for Texas State University who previously served two terms on the city council.Email | Print