SBCISD, City races heat up

Staff Writer

The deadline to apply to run for San Benito City Commission and San Benito Consolidated School District Board of Trustees is next Friday, and so far it appears that the 2015 race will be a heated one.

SBCISD Place 1 has already seen two candidates. Rene Salinas and Michael Vargas have both applied to run.

“My platform on responsible leadership, modern leadership, modern school systems and competitive students will move the district and this community on the right path forward,” said Vargas who held his campaign kickoff on Thursday night at El Gallito Restaurant.

Current SBCISD Place 1 Trustee, Fatima Huerta, had not filed as of noon Friday. Salinas and Huerta were both unreachable for comment regarding the forthcoming election.

Comparatively, SBCISD Place 2 Trustee, Anna Cruz, will run again. “My platform has always been academic excellence,” said Cruz. I have always wanted for us as a board to focus on academics. Even though we are in a financial bind, our focus still should be academics.” Cruz said that she expects to host her campaign kickoff next week.

Also running for Place 2 is Orlando Lopez, who was unreachable for comment by presstime Friday.

Vying for SBCISD Place 3 Trustee is former Board President and current placeholder, Yliana Gonzalez. The position will not be unopposed, however, as Jose G. Gonzalez has filed his paperwork with the district.

Neither Yliana nor Jose G. were reachable for comment regarding their platform.

In the case of the City Commission Place 3, Esteban “Steve” Rodriguez has filed to run. Current Place 3 Commissioner J.D. Penny, comparatively, has not filed paperwork as of noon Friday.

Rodriguez said his main platform will be to “tackle the water plant. That is something that is stagnant. I want to be a part of the solution to get the water plant rolling where it’s working for the City, not against.” He said he will also be advocating for street repair and bringing new businesses to the City of San Benito. As for a campaign kickoff, he said no plans have been made at this time.

Place 4 Commissioner Joe D. Gonzalez has not officially filed his paperwork to run in the forthcoming election. The office will not go without at least one candidate, though, as Ely Eloy Garcia has filed. Regarding his platform or campaign kickoff, Garcia declined comment.

Interested parties have until 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27 to apply to run for office.  SBCISD Board of Trustees applicants may pick up a candidate packet at the John F. Barron Administration Building, located at 240 N. Crockett St. For City Commission, applications are available at the Municipal Building, located at 401 N. Sam Houston.

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