Pena loses BISD election by one vote

Brownsville Independent School District (BISD) Board President incumbent for board of trustee place 6 Minerva M. Peña waves to motorist on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, along Alton Gloor Boulevard in Brownsville, Texas. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald via AP)

After all was said and done, one vote separated the winner and the runner-up in Board President Minerva M. Pena’s race for a fourth term on the Brownsville Independent School District Board of Trustees.

After a complete count of provisional, late mail-in and overseas military ballots was completed Tuesday afternoon, Marisa F. Leal, the longtime United Parcel Service Brownsville operations director, received a total of 16,535 votes in the Position 6 race, compared to 16,534 for Pena, Cameron County Elections Administrator Remi Garza said.

Former BISD Athletic Director Joe A. Rodriguez received 10,570 votes in the final count.

BISD will now canvas the votes to make the election result official at a meeting set for 5 p.m. Thursday at the BISD Central Administration Building cafeteria, 708 Palm Blvd.

Pena was first elected in 2008 and won re-election in 2012 and 2016.

Pena said previously that she would ask for a recount, for which she would have to pay $60 per precinct. There are 47 BISD Precincts.

“I am planning to ask for a recount for peace of mind, especially for those who voted for me and have supported me throughout the years,” Pena said Tuesday afternoon in a text message to The Brownsville Herald.

Others elected to the BISD board in the Nov. 3 election, according to unofficial tallies before provisional, late mail-in and overseas ballots were counted, include: Denise Garza in Position 2, with 17,817 votes; Jessica G. Gonzalez in Position 3, with 19,631 votes, and Daniela Lopez Valdez in Position 5, with 28,383 votes.