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6 candidates file for 3 seats on the Peñitas City Council

The filing deadline for Peñitas City Council passed Friday without any surprises.

Mayor Rodrigo “Rigo” Lopez, 35, the La Joya school district transportation director, will run for re-election against his predecessor, former Mayor Marcos Ochoa.

City of Penitas logo“They’ve seen what Marcos has done and they’ve seen what I can do,” said Lopez, who added that he’s looking forward to discussing the progress Peñitas made during the past four years and his plans for the future. “And at the end of the day, it’s the people’s choice.”

City Councilman Jose Roel “J.R.” Flores, 49, and City Councilman Ramiro Loya, 69, will campaign with Lopez. They both work for the La Joya Independent School District.

May 4 will mark the first City Council election since 2015, when Lopez became mayor.

Peñitas canceled the May 2017 election when the only candidate who challenged the incumbents, a local gadfly named Noe Garza Jr., withdrew from the ballot.

Ochoa, 64, retired from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and served seven years as mayor before resigning to become justice of the peace. He plans to campaign with Osiel Ramos, a teacher at John F. Kennedy Elementary School, and Esmeralda “Esmer” Medina, a former city clerk.

Medina said she’s a lifelong resident of Peñitas, where she’s a church pastor, and wants to help the city grow.

“And I really thought this was the precise moment to be a voice for the community,” Medina said. “For the people of Peñitas — for the people that I know and the people I met while I was working.”

The deadline for filing as a write-in candidate is Tuesday. The deadline to withdraw from the ballot is Feb. 22

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