Brownsville mayor's race heats up as election day draws near

With several candidates in the field, the race for the Brownsville mayor's seat is heating up.

Brownsville Mayor Pat Ahumada has been at the helm since the last city election in 2007, but four other men are looking to change that in the upcoming May 14th election.

But Ahumada has many challengers in this race.

"If we had a mayor that we thought was leading our city in the right direction, a lot of us wouldn't be running," said candidate Virio Cardenas said.

With so much on the line for the largest city in the Rio Grande Valley, the four candidates are making sure every vote will count.

They hope the election won't flop as it did in November when votes were miscounted in the county judge's race.

County Elections Administrator Roger Ortiz said some major have been made to avoid any major mistakes.

"Yes, there's probably more eyes on us during this election than ever before," Ortiz said.

The elections administrators assured that elections for the Brownsvile mayor's race would run smoothly.

"We've got numbers of all of our equipment, where we can match anything that may have come-in that there may be a question on, Ortiz said. The poll-watchers have a few more forms to fill out."

Mayoral candidate and current Brownsville Commissioner Edward Camarillo said the candidates also met with Ortiz for an elections process boot camp where they learned everything from who will have keys to ballot boxes, to how to report a problem.

"I thought he was very explicit as to the process and the measures that they have taken to ensure that every vote will be counted, Camarillo said. I feel very comfortable with the process has done."

Candidate and businessman Tony Martinez said he trusts the county has learned from it's previous mistakes, but just in case, he said he'll call on fellow attorneys to question any irregularities.

"I think people are ready for some change, I think people are ready to move-on, I think people are ready to believe how wonderful our community can be, Martinez said. We've got a lot of great people. If everyone gets out to vote, I think we'll be very well satisfied."

Candidate Mike Garza is not leaving anything to chance and hit the streets of Brownsville with campaign signs Monday morning.

He said there could be improvements to the system, like the one already in place across the border.

"The ~tarjeta electoral TM (or voting card) in Mexico - I TMve seen this card and it's their picture, their thumb print and a bar code, Garza said. We're kind of in the dinosaur era - I mean we swipe (a card) for everything else."

Ahumada said he believes in the system as it is, and hopes people will vote to keep their leadership also as it currently is.

"I feel great, Ahumada said. I feel people have taken into consideration my experience, my initiative and ability to get things done."