Best of Five: Martinez Elected Brownsville Mayor

It was a tough, hard fought battle between five candidates hoping to become the next Brownsville mayor.

Current Mayor Pat Ahumada sought another four years in office.

Businessmen Tony Martinez, Mike Garza and Viro Cardenas threw their names in the hat and City Commissioner Edward Camarillo thought it was time to move-up.

Martinez's slogan "Believe in Brownsville, struck a chord with 22-year-old Raul Izaguirre.

"Because I was born here, and in order to make a change, it starts where you came from," Izaguirre said.

Garza had respected county leaders in his corner like former Cameron County Emergency Management Coordinator Johnny Cavazos.

"Mike Garza is a businessman here that has brought jobs here, Cavazos said.

Many took notice of mayor Ahumada's accomplishments during his last four years in office.

"He's creating jobs - that's growth for the economy- he's been key in the downtown revitalization, the green efforts (and) I think that's key for any mayor anyone running for political office," Erika Madariaga said.

When it came time to count the numbers, Tony Martinez became the front runner.

"It's not been on my bucket list, Martinez said. But when I told a lot of young people, ~you guys need to go out there and get involved and run for office, TM one evening there was a (suggestion) of how about you (Tony)?

You start looking in the mirror and (think), maybe I should set the example.

Martinez won with a total 5,308 votes. Incumbent Pat Ahumada had 899 votes.

"I was hoping to get in the run off unfortunately that was not the case," Ahumada said. "Brownsville has decided that my humanitarian agenda, going green agenda, bi-national agenda and work that I TMve done here locally, is not what they wanted. My biggest accomplishment was being able to serve the community."

The election is over, but Martinez said he welcomes the work ahead.

"I love a good challenge, Martinez said. Work doesn't scare me, I TMm very organized, (and) I TMve practiced law for 40 years. It makes it easy for me to understand the scope of the kind of work that we're going to have to do and I TMm looking forward to it."

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