Early voting hasn’t yet begun, but it’s been an active week for both slates gunning for office in the city of Palmview.
Candidates and supporters with Palmview Leadership spent the night outside city hall Monday night after they heard Palmview Proud would be setting up their tent the next day.
Tuesday morning there was no tent, but the candidates were called into the interrogation room in the police department to discuss the city’s newly adopted electioneering ordinance and loitering.
Candidates for Palmview Leadership are Joe Chapa for mayor, Mario Garza in Place 1, Alejandro Cantu in Place 2 and Albino Villarreal in Place 4. All of whom have never run for an elected office before.
Palmview Proud candidates are Jerry Perez for mayor, Arlando Nacianceno in Place 1, Jose “Hoss” Hernandez in Place 2 and Ricky Villarreal in Place 4. Perez resigned his seat of 18 years as the Place 1 alderman to run for mayor, and this is Villarreal’s first bid for re-election to keep his seat.
Eventually City Manager Ramon Segovia worked out a deal between the two slates, dividing the property next to city hall into two and allowing both sides to draw for sides and the issue was resolved, at least it’s resolved until the two slates are allowed to set up shop before early voting starts Monday.
Meanwhile, Palmview Leadership candidates submitted a complaint to District Attorney Rene Guerra on Wednesday detailing a raffle conducted by the Palmview Proud slate. For a $5 ticket, Palmview Leadership supporters were given a chance to win a fajita dinner for 50 people. By state law, only certain types of groups can hold raffles; political campaigns are excluded.
Perez said Wednesday he didn’t know of the complaint until after one of his slate members was contacted by a reporter. The group was trying to fundraise in a unique way, he said. The fact that pictures of the raffle were posted on Facebook is proof they were being transparent, Perez said.
“It’s an honest thing that we were doing,” he said. “We could have done a golf tournament, but that gets old. We just want to cover our costs and cover expenses and that’s it. Campaigns are expensive. We work for a living. We’re not trying to take advantage of anybody else.”
And still more controversy erupted earlier in the month when Ricardo Villarreal filed complaints about Albino Villarreal’s residency. Albino’s homestead address on the tax roll is listed just outside Palmview city limits. The address on his candidacy application is for his business.
Election Day is May 10. Early voting begins Monday and ends May 6.