Early voting begins

HARLINGEN — Voters can make their voices heard beginning this morning.

That’s when early voting starts in elections for city commissions and school boards in cities across the Rio Grande Valley.

Election Day is Saturday, May 5.


In Harlingen, the race for City Commission has businessman Richard Garza challenging two-term incumbent Michael Mezmar, a financial analyst, for the commission’s Place 3 seat.

In the race for Place 4, former Commissioner Basilio “Chino” Sanchez, a retired newspaper production technician, faces one-term incumbent Ruben de la Rosa, an instructor at Texas Southmost College.

For Place 5, Jim Young, an attorney who serves on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission, faces two-term incumbent Victor Leal, who runs a computer sales and service business.

The Harlingen school board has only one contested race.

Three candidates are vying to replace board president George McShan, who has served on HCISD’s Board of Trustees since 1988 and is not seeking re-election.

Legal assistant Debbie Flores, professor Belinda Reininger and retiree Santiago Villanueva are running for the Place 6 seat.

Incumbents Bobby Muniz and Nolan Perez are both run unopposed.


In the race for San Benito City Commission, Ricardo Guerra, a Harlingen firefighter, is up against one-term incumbent Esteban Rodriguez, owner of a freight company, for the city’s Place 3 seat.

In the race for Place 4, retired businessman Mike Frazier is challenging incumbent Carol Lynn Sanchez, an attorney who won her seat last year in a special election to fulfill longtime Commissioner Joe D. Gonzalez’s term.

The San Benito school board has two contested seats.

Retired teacher Blanca Sonia Weaver is running against college student Fatima Huerta for Place 2 and Place 3 incumbent Joe G. Gonzalez faces former teacher Juanita Janie Silva.

Board president Michael Vargas is unopposed.


Harlingen City Commission and Harlingen school board

City Hall

118 E. Tyler Ave.


San Benito City Commission and San Benito school board

Community Building

210 E. Heywood