SLIDESHOW: [A] San Marcos City Council candidate Scott Gregson speaks to supporters at an event on Monday at Café on the Square in downtown San Marcos. [B] Candidate Frank Arredondo at his campaign kickoff Aug. 27 at Centro Mutualista Cuauhtemoc in the Victory Gardens neighborhood. PHOTOS by LEXY GARCIA AND PRESLIE COX/THE UNIVERSITY STAR
12:39 p.m. TUESDAY, SEPT. 15 | This just in from city council candidate SCOTT GREGSON in response to this story:
“I commend Mr. Herrera for his willingness to serve our great city. I never met Mr. Herrera before he entered the race. However, his willingness to put our children’s education ahead of his city council campaign leads me to believe he has his heart in the right place and is a valuable asset to San Marcos High School. Unfortunately, there are some who would question his sincerity and intentions to serve our city, and I think that is wrong. San Marcos’ voters are intelligent, and will continue to vote for the candidate who shares their vision for the future of San Marcos.”
by BRAD ROLLINS
7:36 a.m. TUESDAY, SEPT. 15 | Saying he can’t get traction because of widespread suspicion that he is secretly allied with one of his opponents, candidate Stephen Herrera has effectively ended his campaign for the San Marcos City Council Place 5 seat.
Herrera announced his intention to withdraw at an informal candidates forum in the Franklin Square neighborhood on Sunday, news of which was promptly posted on social media by candidate Frank Arredondo’s campaign treasurer. Herrera later told the University Star that his short-lived candidacy “hit a brick wall” because of rumors that he was working on behalf of candidate Scott Gregson to peel Latino votes from Arredondo.
“I don’t have the political support behind me to defend myself against that and simultaneously be the best teacher I can be,” Herrera said. “…I probably haven’t really been as proactive in joining committees as I probably should have,” Herrera told the newspaper. “I think that is one of the reasons a lot of the people in the community thought I was not serious about (running).”
Herrera, a San Marcos High School classroom teacher, signed up to run for the at-large council seat on Aug. 24, the last day to file. Under the Texas Election Code, candidates for most local offices cannot withdraw their name from a ballot after the fifth day following the filing deadline, or Aug. 28 in this case. Consequently, Herrera will appear as a candidate on ballots for the Nov. 3 general election alongside Gregson and Arredondo and Place 6 candidates Shane Scott and Melissa Derrick.
Gregson told the University Star that he hopes to pick up whatever votes Herrera might have received. The newspaper quotes Arredondo as saying, “I told him if in the future he wanted to continue this, I would be more than happy to visit with him.”
Gregson, 59, is not conceding Latino voters to his opponent. On Monday, he released a sleek campaign video in which he stands in front a massive new apartment complex and declares over a soundtrack of construction noise: “I won’t vote for a project like this.” The Woods at San Marcos development behind him inspired nearly uniform outrage among residents of the nearby Blanco Gardens and Wallace Addition neighborhoods, both of which are home to large reserves of potential Latino voters.
In addition to his most obvious advantage in appealing to Latino voters, the 68-year-old Arredondo has decades of relationships on which to draw and a civic résumé that includes stints as mayor and a city council member in the 1970s. More recently, appointments as chair of the ad hoc city’s Sunset Review Advisory Commission and the San Marcos Housing Authority board of directors.
His supporters include Mayor Daniel Guerrero, for whom he served as campaign treasure in 2010 and 2013, and San Marcos CISD trustee Miguel Arredondo, who is actively advising his cousin’s city council campaign.Email | Print