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COVER: Businessman Ruben Becerra and his wife, Monica. PHOTO VIA FACEBOOK

by BRAD ROLLINS

Downtown businessman Ruben Becerra filed paperwork today to enter the race for San Marcos mayor, setting up a spirited contest at the top of the Nov. 8 municipal election ballot.

Becerra, 44, said he is a political moderate who is well-positioned to build consensus among the factions that perennially fight for control of City Hall.

“It seems like we’re constantly swinging that pendulum — hard left, hard right, hard left, hard right — and people are getting knocked around with it. I’m kind of tired of the idea that it’s all or nothing with people around here,” Becerra said. “I really am interested in not doing business as usual. I really am interested in a higher-spirited, community-oriented” brand of politics.

Becerra owns Gil’s Broiler, Manske Roll Bakery Bakery and Dixie Cream Artisan Donuts — all of which have operated for decades in the Central Business District — as well as Specialized Medical Solutions, a San Antonio-based medical equipment supplier. He has served on the planning and zoning commission and serves as board president of Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos.

In the mayoral race, Becerra faces longtime council member John Thomaides, 50, who sells and installs water filtration systems. Cherif Gacis, 38, has also filed to run for mayor; Gacias does not list an occupation on his ballot application.

In a brief telephone interview as he prepared to make his candidacy official, Becerra declined to discuss specific city issues, saying he is still formulating how to best articulate his positions.

At one point in the interview, he cited the ongoing debate over removal of Cape’s Dam in the San Marcos River — a position Thomaides supports — as an example of an issue that demands leadership that seeks to unify and inform.

In announcing his candidacy to friends and acquaintances on Facebook, however, Becerra struck a less measured tone. He wrote, “When I learned that some folks wanted to end this place, I said NO WAY! I’m running for mayor to help save the San Marcos River!”

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2 thoughts on “Ruben Becerra, downtown business owner, enters San Marcos mayor race

  1. I worked at Gil’s during my second year at Texas State University and I can tell you from personal experience that this is one of the most unorganized and unprofessional people I have ever worked with. Our inventory was never correct, things often went weeks without being ordered from the supplier. Many times we were asked to buy things from HEB and were never reimbursed. Our paychecks were often late and if you asked questions or got on his bad side Ruben would throw a tantrum. By far the worst employer I have ever worked for. I can only imagine how terribly unorganized he would be in a position like Mayor of San Marcos. The city can do better.

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