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Mission canvasses election results, prepares for runoff elections

Mission City Councilman Abiel Flores took the oath of office Monday at City Hall. (Photo courtesy of the city of Mission via Facebook.)

 

Mission welcomed former City Attorney Abiel Flores back to City Hall on Monday.

Flores, though, didn’t show up to dispense legal advice. Voters had elected him to serve on the City Council he once advised.

“It’s time to get to work,” said Flores, 41, of Mission. “And I’m ready to work.”

Flores advised the City Council from 2015, when Mission created the city attorney position, to 2018, when he returned to private practice.

As the city’s in-house attorney, Flores became familiar with the budget process, worked closely with the city manager and provided the City Council with legal opinions.

“I got a glimpse of all of that,” Flores said. “So now I can use that experience and combine it with my own perspective, and try to make good things happen for our city.”

Voters elected Flores on May 7, when he defeated former Mission police Lt. Javier “Javy” Ramon and local businessman Joe Vargas after a three-way race for City Council Place 3.

 

Moments after City Councilman Abiel Flores was sworn in, City Secretary Anna Carrillo placed his nameplate on the dais. (Photo courtesy of the city of Mission via Facebook.)

 

The results remained unofficial until Monday, when the City Council met to canvass them.

Flores received 4,403 votes, according to results canvassed by the City Council. Ramon received 2,426 votes. And Vargas, a write-in candidate, received 276 votes.

“I want to thank all of my supporters. All of the people that were out there. It wasn’t easy. This campaign wasn’t easy. There were a lot of obstacles that we had to go through. And we did it all together — all of us,” Flores said. “And even those that were not supporters, I did not consider them enemies or adversaries. They were people that wanted to participate in the process, which we should all encourage.”

Flores won nearly 62% of 7,105 ballots cast for Place 3, which allowed him to avoid a runoff.

None of the four mayoral candidates or three contenders for City Council Place 1, however, received a majority of the vote.

 

Mission City Councilman Abiel Flores addressed a crowd at City Hall on Monday after he was sworn in. (Photo courtesy of the city of Mission via Facebook.)

 

City Councilwoman Norie Gonzalez Garza received 2,786 votes, according to results canvassed by the City Council. Mayor Armando “Doc” O’caña received 2,541 votes. Former Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas received 2,114 votes. And Victor Anzaldua, a 22-year-old college student, received 154 votes.

Gonzalez Garza won nearly 37% of 7,595 ballots cast during the mayoral election. O’caña won about 33%.

They go head-to-head next month, when Mission holds a runoff election.

“I want to thank everybody that came out to vote. I’m thankful for the turnout. It was a great turnout,” Gonzalez Garza said. “I hope that everybody comes back again June 11. And I hope they put their faith in me one more time.”

The City Council also canvassed the results for Place 1, which is represented by incumbent Councilwoman Jessica Ortega.

She received 3,142 votes. Former Mission school board Trustee Moises “Moy” Iglesias received 2,813 votes. And Noel Salinas, a health care administrator, received 1,367 votes.

Ortega won nearly 43% of 7,322 ballots cast for Place 1. She’ll head to a runoff with Iglesias.

Early voting starts May 31 and ends June 7. Election day is June 11.

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