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San Antonio has a new mayor, for now




City Clerk Leticia Vacek swore former District 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor in as interim mayor on Tuesday.

As all eyes were on the city council Tuesday, District 6 Councilman Ray Lopez withdrew his letter of interest for interim mayor and paved the way for District 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor to take the Alamo City’s helm to become the first female African American to hold San Antonio’s highest office.

Secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, and as of noon Tuesday, the former mayor of San Antonio, told a packed city council chambers the council was moving into uncharted territory with rules governing how to pick the interim mayor. After Castro was nominated to President Barack Obama’s cabinet earlier this year, the city council passed rules governing how it would pick Castro’s interim successor.

And after just two rounds of voting, Taylor was picked.

Lopez, after gaining three votes to Taylor’s five in the second round, said the city council must be unified if it was going to continue to tackle issues meaningful to San Antonio and its future. And with that, Lopez withdrew.

In the first round, Taylor garnered four votes to Lopez’s two. No one voted for District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg or for District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales.

In the second round, District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal voted for Lopez, District 3 Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran voted for Taylor, District 4 Councilman Rey Saldana voted for Taylor, District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales voted for Lopez, District 7 Councilman Cris Medina voted for Lopez, District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg voted for Taylor, District 9 Councilman Joe Krier voted for Taylor and District 10 Councilman Mike Gallagher voted for Taylor.

Taylor said she was the best pick to lead San Antonio through its transition and would focus on balancing the budget, securing a long-term water supply, maintaining a Triple-A Bond Rating and putting together a comprehensive plan for balanced growth in San Antonio.

“You have my commitment,” she said.

With Taylor’s appointment to interim, the city council will appoint a District 2 replacement. City Clerk Leticia Vacek said a notice of vacancy will be published in the San Antonio Express News and La Prensa on July 27 and applications will be taken between July 28 and August 8.

Taylor will serve out the remainder of Castro's term, which ends in May 2015.

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