Many new faces elected to local school boards

November 9, 2016 GMT


The races for the Valley Independent School District were too close to call Tuesday night.

With only two of four precincts reporting at press time, Jose A. “Tony” Rosillo led Place 4 against Bertha Sosa with 1,767 votes to 1,540. In Place 5, Ricardo “Ricky” Cortez Jr. took the lead against Abram Ramirez with 1,790 votes to 1,505. Noe Pruneda led the Place 6 race with 1,774 votes to Raul “Coach” Sanchez’ 1,535 votes.

The Place 7 race was gained attention after a fight broke out outside of a polling location between a school bus driver and incumbent Prisciliano Treviño. Treviño was punched in the face and transported to a Corpus Christi hospital with a skull fracture after the incident, which resulted with the arrest of the bus driver Jose Gamez de Alejandro. The bus driver was charged with aggravated assault earlier this week. Monday night results showed Treviño lagging behind challenger Susana Arredondo with 1,438 votes to 1,876 with two of four precincts reporting.


The three Monte Alto Independent School District elections were too close to call by press deadline Tuesday night.

Early voting numbers for Place No. 1 showed Jackie Padilla led Juan C. Rodriguez 48.14 percent to 38.13 percent; Place No. 2 showed Connie Villanueva led Anna Flores 51.97 percent to 48.03 percent; Place No. 3 showed Teresa Del Toro led Danny Garcia 52.08 percent to 42.52 percent.


It was also too close to call the race for the candidates running for Hidalgo Independent School District with three of nine precincts reporting as of press time.

In Place 1, Blanca Lara was ahead of Sylvia Garcia-Castro with 1,247 votes to 797. Place 2 had Ray Martinez ahead of Francisco “Frank” Cruz with 1,252 votes to 767. Ralph Garza was ahead of Carlos Cardoza Sr. for Place 6 with 1,149 votes to 803, and Luis Trejo Jr. led Place 7 against Yesenia Ayala with 1,088 votes to 966.


At PSJA ISD, new faces will join the board as Jorge Zambrano won with 60.3 percent of the votes, with 31 out of 40 precincts reporting, over incumbent and current board President Guadalupe “Lupe” Rodriguez who took 39.6 percent of the votes for Place 4.

For Place 5, where incumbent Bobby Rodriguez didn’t seek re-election, candidate Jesse Zambrano took 66.8 percent of the vote over Jose Santillan who had 33.1 percent of the votes.

Incumbent Jesus “Jesse” Vela was the only board member able to keep his seat as he took 60.5 percent of the vote over challenger Maria Del Rosario Coplea who had about 39.5 percent of total votes.


At Mercedes Independent School District, Place 5 and 6 were cutting it close to a potential recount with all precincts accounted for. Oscar Rojas had 50.2 percent of the votes, while Oscar Hernandez had 49.8 percent.

Place 6 was taken by incumbent Elvia Sandoval who had 50.3 percent of the votes, while challenger Rachel Treviño had 49.7 percent.

Even though Hernandez was down by about 20 votes, he said he believed it was a fair race and as of Tuesday night was not thinking of requesting a recount. For Treviño, on the other hand, the lead of about 28 votes was too close for comfort and said she will be considering requesting a recount.

“ I do have certain concerns that I will be addressing tomorrow,” Treviño said. “I might consider a recount.”

Place 7 was taken by newcomer Arturo Ayala Jr. who took 51.8 percent of the votes over candidate Brian Rene Acosta with 48.1 percent.

Mercedes voters also rejected the school district’s request to ratify its tax rate in order to shift 13 cents from the Interest and Sinking, or I&S, side to Maintenance and Operations, or M&O. The tax ratification received about 67.8 percent votes against.

The shift was expected to bring in about $2.4 million annually in taxes directly into M&O and intended to be used for upgrades to the district’s oldest buildings, district officials said.


In Donna, six new trustees were voted onto the school board. Valentin Guerrero won Place 1 with 37.8 percent, Donna Mery won Place 2 with 38.7 percent, Alicia Reyna won Place 3 with 30.3 percent, Eva Watts won Place 4 with 34.4 percent, Eloy Avila won Place 5 with 25.7 percent, and John Billman won Place 6 with 31.5 percent.