Two incumbents receive the highest number of votes

Christopher Maher, Alice Echo-News Journal

Both incumbents for Alice City Council received the highest number of votes in the election Saturday, but two newcomers will join them on the council for the next two years.

For the second consecutive election, Juan Rodriguez Jr. received the highest number of votes, and is expected to retain his position as mayor pro-tem.

Rodriguez received a total of 1,604 votes, 449 more than any other candidate.

"My interest lies in being accessible to the public and the citizens, being there when questions need to be answered and puting to rest any concerns they may have," Rodriguez said. "I was the newest member on the outgoing council, and now I look forward to taking more of a leadership role and having more communication with the residents of Alice. City hall is for the taxpayers."

Dorella Elizondo, who will now be the longest-tenured member on the council, received 1,155 votes.

"I had already been taking responsibility by getting training that I needed," Elizondo said. "I'll just try to work with this new council and see if we can continue with the path we have."

Leo Escobar received the third-highest number of votes, with 1,129. A former school board member who will now serve his first term on the council, Escobar said his first priority is to fill several open supervisor positions in the city.

"I feel the city of Alice has spoken, there's a lot of work to be done, there's a lot of work ahead of us," Escobar said. "We have several vacancies that need to be filled, and we have to be very selective in the way we fill those positions."

Newcomer Shane Valverde came in fourth place in the vote totals, with 1,058.

"I really can't say what the priorities are, because now I'll get access to the information I need to make those choices and prioritize," Valverde said. "But now it's time to get to work. Now the real work begins."

Mauricio Garza II fell short in his second bid for city council, coming in fifth place with 800 votes.

"I want to thank everybody who supported me and believed in me, and I want to thank everybody who came out to vote. It shows their love for this community, the kind of love I have for this community," Garza said. "I want to wish the new council well, because I know what they have on their plate and it's going to be tough for them. But I believe in them and I know they're going to be able to pull this off working together."

Mayor Grace Saenz-Lopez, who was unopposed for re-election, received 1,466 votes.

"I am humbled, I am honored to be the mayor again for the next two years," Saenz-Lopez said. "I want to continue being a team player, and move the city forward as much as we can for the betterment of the community."