Saturday, June 15, marks the runoff elections for city council seats for Districts 5 and 8.
District 5 residents will get a chance to support either social conservative pretty boy David Medina, a very green leader in every sense, or pawn shop proprietor/urbanist athlete Shirley Gonzales, a relative newcomer to both politics and the district. Hallmarks from Medina’s past two terms at Council have been: gross overpayment of some staff (and underpayment of others), holding the record for most missed City Council meetings, declaring his virginity at the dais (cool story, bro), and an enormously embarrassing incident involving Medina, his father, a “human-shield” baby, and the cops. His campaign this year has included classy moves such as being ejected from a polling site (wearing your own campaign t-shirt to a polling place is not only lame, it’s illegal), intimidating LGBT protestors, crashing a senior breakfast held by his opponent, and sending out a sympathy-play campaign mailer in which his mother claims Medina’s Council absences were somehow related to the death of his brother, which occurred weeks before Medina’s second term began.
Comparatively, the open-seat race in District 8 seems tame, but the mud has flown between Ron Nirenberg — KRTU general manager endorsed by the Express-News, former mayor Phil Hardberger, and even former libertarian-leaning opponent Mike Kueber — and Rolando Briones — the owner of an engineering firm with endorsements by outgoing District 8 council member Reed Williams and several other prominent local Republicans like U.S. Representative Lamar Smith. Briones has been under fire already for ethical lapses (the most recent of which is the revelation that his firm pushed for a $500,000 city contract directly before the May 11 election and continued into run-off season until questioned by Express-News’ Josh Baugh) though his assumed position as a Castro foil may trump even his most questionable business decisions. Nirenberg received some flak for negative campaign moves that painted Briones as an influence peddler and questioned his conservative bonafides. Lately, an allegedly rogue wacko (Briones’ camp flatly denies involvement) has been circulating an anti-Nirenberg mailer accusing him of being pro-abortion and pro-LGBT, and an all-out Obama/Castro lover. In a district that trends more conservative than most in SA, this race still looks like a toss-up. Happy voting!