Raymondville runoff pits Alexandre against Garcia

MGN Online

RAYMONDVILLE — Since 2006, City Commissioner Yolanda Alexandre has easily won re-election to her Place 1 seat.

Now, she’s locked in a June 22 runoff with Joel Garcia, the top vote-getter in the city’s May 4 election.

In the May election, Garcia received 601 votes to Alexandre’s 564.

Meanwhile, Erica Reyes-Rubalcaba, the election’s third candidate, fell short of the runoff with 539 votes.

Last week, commissioners ordered the runoff because no candidate won at least 50 percent of the vote in the election.

Nearly one month away from the runoff, candidates are scrambling to commit votes to return to the polls.

“In a small community, it’s known that once they come out and vote it’s difficult getting them back to vote,” Garcia said yesterday. “I feel very confident

If the number of people who came to vote May 4 come back to vote, my chances are very, very good.”

However, Alexandre has not responded to messages requesting comment on her campaign.

Alexandre, 64, suffered a stroke more than a year ago, leaving her with speech impairment.

She has not responded to e-mailed questions of whether her ability to serve in office has become a campaign issue.

Meanwhile, Reyes-Rubalcaba has not responded to messages requesting information on whether she will throw her support behind Alexandre or Garcia.

“I feel very confident her supporters will come out to make the best decision for the community, whether they support me or Yolanda,” Garcia said.

As part of his campaign, he said he supports offering tax breaks to attract new businesses to town.

Garcia also vows to push to attract developers to build more housing to help draw more residents here.

Garcia, a major overseeing correctional officers in a prison system, believes his support largely stems from his years of involvement in the community.

“I want to be out there engaging with the community,” he said. “I want to be accessible to hear their concerns.”

President of the L.C. Smith Elementary School’s parent-teacher organization, Garcia is a former Willacy County Crimestoppers president.

“I want to make an impact in my community,” he said. “I want to layout a foundation for generations after me. I want to work tirelessly and vigorously with my fellow commissioners and mayor seeking out job creation, infrastructure, tax revenue and grants to beautify the community.”

Early voting runs from June 10 to 18.

fdelvalle@valleystar.com