Edinburg councilman will not run for re-election
Editor's note: This story has been updated.
After five years of service, Edinburg Mayor Pro Tem J.R. Betancourt announced he will not seek re-election after his term ends this November.
"The past five years that I've been here, tons of new projects, restaurants have come,” Betancourt said. “The arena is coming, the soccer stadium that we've done, the medical school. I mean, I can go on and on and we haven't increased taxes."
Betancourt, a certified public accountant, took office in 2012 after the former councilman, Noe Garza, passed away.
Betancourt says he will not seek re-election in order to spend some more time with his family, but adds that a divided city council also played a part in his decision to opt out of another term.
"I'm not going to lie that, that had a small part in it too,” said Betancourt. “It kind of took the wind out of my sails. It put a real bad taste in my mouth and I never signed up for any of that. Obviously, that's politics. I wasn't naïve enough to think that, that wasn't going to happen."
Councilman Richard Molina, who has been an active voice in several of the council’s quarrels, recently announced he was giving up his seat to run for mayor.
"Edinburg is not flying high,” Molina said. “Edinburg is swimming in debt. We're financing things 20, 30 years down the road, kicking the can. The next mayor and council are going to have some challenging times ahead of them."
Molina will face incumbent Richard Garcia come November.
Betancourt adds that his private CPA firm's growth during his five-year term also helped him make the decision to vacate his seat.