Saldaña won’t run for mayor

December 17, 2018 GMT

Term-limited City Councilman Rey Saldaña, long seen as a potential mayoral candidate in 2019, will not seek the position.

Speculation reached a fever pitch in the wake of City Manager Sheryl Sculley’s announcement that she’s retiring, coupled with a high-profile political fundraisier the outgoing councilman had last week.

But Saldaña, who represents a Southwest Side district, told the San Antonio Express-News on Monday that he won’t run and needs a break after eight continuous years on the City Council.

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When he was elected in 2011, he was its youngest member. When he departs in a few months, he’ll still be the youngest.

Saldaña, who studied education at Stanford University, is going to work for Raise Your Hand Texas, an education nonprofit founded by Charles Butt. He’ll work part time until his council term ends in May — or June, if there’s a runoff for the District 4 seat.

“I’m not running for mayor,” he said. “It feels so good to say that.”

In ruling out jumping into a race that will likely pit Councilman Greg Brockhouse against incumbent Mayor Ron Nirenberg next year, Saldaña said he might come back and seek the seat in future years.

“I’m going to take some time away now and feel pretty good about what we’ve done,” he said.

Saldaña said he’s a bit burnt out, having fielded constituent calls nearly every weekend and most Wednesdays and Thursdays in council chambers for nearly eight years.

“I’ve had a standing Wednesday night dinner date for the past eight years,” he said, referencing the weekly citizens-to-be-heard meetings where residents come to address the council on literally any matter they wish.

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The councilman said he favors municipal governance because it impacts residents so much, and because it allows him to work directly with them.

Though the filing period for a place on the ballot doesn’t open until next month, Saldaña said his decision is firm — he and his wife agreed on it.

“The only person on this earth I make promises to is my wife,” he said. “She and I have decided I am not running for mayor in 2019, and I don’t intend to break that promise. If she changes her mind, that’s up to her.”

Josh Baugh is a staff writer in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | jbaugh@express-news.net | Twitter: @jbaugh