Jan. 23 – Hondo, Texas City Council
If you aren’t from the San Antonio, Texas area, you probably have never heard about Hondo. The town of just under 8,000 people is not remarkable. In fact, the most famous aspect of the dusty town is its welcome sign, seen at the bottom of this post.
And yet this small town is on the brink of one of the strangest and most interesting local elections of the season.
In May, Hondo caused quite a stir when it voted to recall three of its city council members. All three are Hispanic, as are a majority of the town’s population, and the United States Justice Department actually sent federal election monitors to make sure that the recall effort was run properly. For months, the results of the election was put on hold as lawyers determined whether the city had acted legally in removing these three from office.
After all, the members had committed no crime. They were recalled for ‘undermining “the city’s financial stability during their one year in office.”
On January 23, voters will be choosing from 6 choices to replace those that it removed more than half a year ago. Voters in council areas 3, 4, and 5 each have two candidates to choose from.
In Area 3, voters will pick between Eric Torres and William Freeman. Torres is a businessman who owns a local laundry firm while Freeman is a former council member and a school bus driver.
In Area 4, the choices are Ann-Michelle Vance Long, also a former council member and real estate agent and James Sanchez, a construction manager.
Most intriguingly, one of the recalled officials is running to get back on the council. However, Lucio Torrez is banned from running in his original area, which was 4, and so now he is running in Area 5. Keith Lutz will be his opponent – and Lutz joins Long and Torres on a slate aimed at changing the way things have been run on the council.