Skip to content

Voters back Gerlach in Mission council race, runoff uncertain

Marrisa Ortega Gerlach finished drastically ahead of her three opponents in the city of Mission’s special city council race Saturday and may even avoid a runoff — though that’s not completely certain yet.

To avoid a runoff, she’ll need 50% of the vote plus one additional ballot.

With all precincts reporting Saturday, Gerlach had received 1,502 votes, according to unofficial results from Hidalgo County. That’s 50.12% of the vote, just two ballots above what she’d need to clinch the race based on the total of 2,997 votes cast reported on the county’s website.

However, Hidalgo County Elections Administrator Hilda Salinas said Saturday night that 30 ballots remained “pending.”

“There are some ballots that are still out and [the] ballot board still needs to meet to finalize the election,” she said, noting that those 30 votes would be out-of-county or federal post card application ballots.

Salinas said votes have six days to arrive and be processed, and that whether a runoff’s necessary or not won’t be clear until everything’s been finalized.

Abraham Padron, who came in second Saturday, said he doesn’t plan on conceding the election till those votes have been accounted for.

He received 722 ballots, or 24.09%. Padron isn’t ruling out the chance of a runoff based on those pending votes.

“I just wanna see what those pending votes are,” he said, adding that he wasn’t considering calling for a recount.

According to Padron, the county said they could have numbers finalized early this week.

Gerlach told the Progress Times Saturday evening that she wasn’t aware of those pending ballots.

Her backyard watch party had morphed into a victory party by that point, complete with drinks and a DJ.

The perception that a runoff had been avoided made the mood especially jubilant.

Gerlach didn’t seem particularly daunted by the prospect of those pending ballots. Runoff chances aside, she had, afterall, managed to dominantly outperform her competitors.

“I am ecstatic,” she said. “I am so glad that I will be able to give the citizens of Mission what I can, and to serve them. I’m excited to serve.”

Peter Geddes and Noel Salinas, the other candidates in the race, both ended up Saturday with less than 15% of the vote.

Geddes received 408 votes, 13.61%, while Salinas received 365, 12.18%.

Geddes told the Progress Times that despite the loss, he intends to continue looking for ways to be involved with the city and serve its residents.

“I am extremely proud of the campaign that we ran. We did things the right way with integrity on every step along the way,” he said via text. “I’m deeply thankful to my wife Pam, and all of the individuals that contributed to my campaign and supported in various ways. It was a campaign based on the community with community involvement at the heart of it. I sincerely thank the voters that came out to support me.”

Salinas thanked his supporters and offered his congratulations to the winner of the race.

Leave a Comment