Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend of Texas | We Investigate

Incumbents Roy, Molina earn easy reelection in City Council races

Incumbents Everett Roy and Ben Molina claimed resounding victories in runoff elections Tuesday night to return to the Corpus Christi City Council.

The two incumbents will be joined by new council members Roland Barrera and Gil Hernandez in the four runoff elections contested on Tuesday night.

Roy defeated yoga teacher Joy Miller. It will return him to the District 1 seat he was appointed to in April when former Councilwoman Carolyn Vaughn resigned to serve on the Nueces County Commissioners Court.

In Tuesday’s runoff, Roy received 1,582 votes for 67.46 percent. Vaughn received 763 votes or 32.54 percent.

Roy took 38.45 percent of votes while Miller garnered 30.82 percent and eight more votes than the third candidate Julian Firo, which earned her position in the runoff.

Molina, a local business owner, returned to District 2’s seat after defeating Sylvia Campos with an impressive showing. Molina had 1,596 votes for 59.73 percent. Campos had 1,076 votes for 40.27 percent.

In the general election, Molina received 40.49 percent of the votes compared to 35.10 percent for Campos. Molina had polled more than 60 percent of the votes when he was elected over former Councilman Brian Rosas in 2016.

The District 3 race featured the earliest interest during the general election. Challenger Eric Tunchez was indicted on the felony charge of aggravated promotion of prostitution in connection with a 2017 incident and failed to make the runoff.

But the District 3 runoff was more sedate. The only pre-election fireworks came when a district judge ruled that Barrera could remain on the ballot in the runoff despite charges from Cantu that he missed a deadline to file his financial disclosure documents.

Barrera finished with 1,384 votes and 54.55 percent, compared to 1,076 votes and 40.27 percent for Cantu.

Barrera claimed the victory after beating Cantu by 614 votes in November.

And in District 5, Gil Hernandez defeated Paul Thurman. Hernandez received 3,057 votes and 65.66 percent, compared to Thurman’s 1,599 votes and 34.34 percent. Only 600 votes separated the two candidates in the general election, but the votes had been split by four candidates.

Political novices Miller in District 1 and Campos in District 2 campaigned together. They hosted watch parties on both election nights and ran favoring many of the same initiatives.  Neither had prior political experience before this year’s election.

And for the mayor of Driscoll, Mark Gonzalez won over John Aguilar in balloting where 136 voters cast ballots. Gonzalez earned 78 votes for 57.35 percent. Aguilar polled 59 votes for 42.65 percent.

Tim Griffin

Tim Griffin

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