Turnout doubles in early voting in city

HARLINGEN — Residents cast almost twice as many votes during early voting for this year’s city election than last year.

This year, 1,582 voters cast ballots from April 22 through Tuesday, City Secretary Amanda Elizondo said yesterday.

That compares with 803 ballots cast during early voting last year.

This time, the mayoral race pitting incumbent Chris Boswell against challenger Angel Segura likely helped draw more voters than last year’s early voting period, when the city voted for Districts 3, 4 and 5 City Commission seats.

“It was steady,” Elizondo said yesterday. “It started gradually and picked up. We would start kind of slow in the morning but it would pick up during the lunch hour and afternoon.”

The city has 34,723 registered voters.

“It’s a good thing to come and vote early and not have to worry about having just one day to vote Saturday,” Elizondo said, referring to Election Day.

In the average election, the early vote makes up about 45 percent of the vote while Election Day ballots account for about 65 percent, Elizondo has said

Mayor’s race

Boswell, an attorney running for his fifth term, faces Segura, an assistant physical therapist.

District 1

In the city’s most contested race, District 1 Commissioner Richard Uribe faces former City Commissioner J.J. Gonzalez and Isidro Marquez, a former economic development official.

Gonzalez, a real estate broker, served on the commission from 2000 to 2006.

Marquez, a retired maquiladora marketing director, served as the city’s vice president for economic development from 1998 to 2001 and executive director of the San Benito Economic Development Corporation in 2009.

District 2

In the race for District 2, Commissioner Tudor Uhlhorn and former Commissioner Frank Puente are locked in a rematch of the 2016 election, when the incumbent won by a 21-vote margin.

Uhlhorn, a farmer and real estate investor, first won election in 2013 with a victory over Puente.

Puente, a roofing company owner, served as a commissioner from 2003 to 2006.

Early voting totals:

City election

2019 — 1,582 votes

2018 — 803

School district election — 1,689 votes

Total registered voters — 34,723