4 men vie for seats on the San Juan City Commission
Three candidates have teamed up in the 2017 San Juan City Commission election.
During the 2014 city of San Juan elections, current Mayor Mario Garza and Commissioner Place 3 Jesus "Jesse" Ramirez ran in different slates, but for the 2017 election they decided to partner up.
"At one point I wasn’t planning to run this term, but I saw the support that we had,” Garza said. “We felt that this is an opportunity showing the community that we are uniting, and we are working together.”
Garza and Ramirez are completing their three-year term on the commission.
While Ramirez is seeking re-election for Place 3, Garza is ready to fill bigger shoes as mayor of San Juan.
"The mayor, San Juanita Sanchez, mayor pro tem--we work well together," Ramirez said. "At the beginning, we were all focused on doing what's right for the community, so the main focus was street improvements. This second term, we're listening to our constituents, and they're saying, 'It's not only streets--it's the garbage, it's the trash pickup, and it's recreation, not only activities but facilities for our kids.'"
Rubio Muñiz, a PSJA maintenance supervisor, is running for Commissioner Place 2 and has joined efforts with Garza and Ramirez.
"I went to school with Mayor Pro Tem Mario Garza we are good friends, and they came to me and they said you know what we would like for you to run with us and you know they are two different parties coming together and I like that because they are uniting and we wanna unite the commission and we want to do well,” said Muñiz.
Muñiz is running against two other newcomers for Place 2: Belinda Cisneros and Neto “Coach” Guajardo. While Cisneros is running on a slate with Mayor San Juanita Sanchez, Guajardo is running alone.
"When you're a single candidate, it's hard because you're competing against three other groups," Guajardo said. "We know it's going to be a long stretch and hopefully, God-willing, and with my supporters, I'll be able to help the city of San Juan."
Commissioner Ramirez is running against Cynthia Gutierrez, who is also on a slate with Sanchez for Place 3.
Garza is running against nine-year-long Mayor San Juanita Sanchez.
“I can't say that I am running against a female," Garza said. "All we are doing is we are running for that seat. That's the way I look at it.”
All of the candidates running for a position on the city commission said they are lifetime San Juan residents.