Jade Esteban Estrada
Paul Elizondo in November was elected to this ninth consecutive term as Bexar County commissioner.
Longtime Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo has died at age 83, his family confirmed to local media.
Elizondo served on the Bexar County Commissioners Court for 32 years, emerging as one of the area's longest-running powerbrokers. He was serving his ninth consecutive term at the time of his unexpected death on Thursday.
"For over a generation, Paul Elizondo was an icon of the West Side and a force in Bexar County government and politics," Mayor Ron Nirernberg said in a statement. "His influence will be felt for decades to come."
Elizondo, a Marine Corps veteran, graduated from St. Mary's University in the late 1950s before becoming a teacher and band director for the Edgewood Independent School District.
“All the kids that I’ve taught, now in their 60s, are voters,” Elizondo told the Current in May
. “Music gave me that contact [with the community].”
His political career included two years in the Texas House of Representatives before he was elected to serve District 2 on the Commissioners Court.
In November, Elizondo edged past Democratic primary challenger Queta Rodriguez by just four points — his narrowest election for the position. Some voters expressed concern that Elizondo's age and health might prevent him from completing a full four-year term.
"I want to serve as long as I can and as well as I can,” he told the Current
prior to the election.