Garcia Wins District 4 Seat in Runoff

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Adriana Rocha Garcia (center right) hugs her father next to her mother and son after early voting results are announced.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

Adriana Rocha Garcia (center right) hugs her father as her mother and son look on.

With all precincts reporting, Adriana Rocha Garcia has secured the District 4 seat with 4,262 votes, or 72.4 percent of the vote. She is the first woman elected to represent District 4.

Johnny Arredondo followed with 1,622 votes, or 27.6 percent.

Garcia, a professor at Our Lady of the Lake University who served as chair of the City’s Ethics Review Board, watched early election results roll in at Traders Village with her family and supporters. Everyone had been frantically refreshing early vote results at the same time, Garcia said, and the early results gave her team a lot of confidence.

“I’m so proud of the team,” Garcia said. “We had over 60 volunteers at the polls today, and it’s been so awesome.”

Arredondo, a retired retail supervisor and volunteer college basketball coach, watched election results from La Fiesta de Jalisco. He was joined by 20 or so friends and family, including several of his grandchildren. This was his second time running for the District 4 City Council seat.

“I don’t get overly high or overly down,” he said. “You win, great. You don’t come out on top, I get to live another day. It’s not something I get upset about.”

Johnny Arredondo

Stephanie Marquez / Rivard Report

Johnny Arredondo

The two candidates faced the challenge of drumming up enthusiasm in a district that typically sees low turnout during municipal elections. Only 7.8 percent of registered voters cast ballots during the general election in May, compared to the citywide turnout of 11.5 percent.

Garcia and Arredondo both ran on promises of improving infrastructure in the district. Residents say they have seen roads and sidewalks in need of repair go neglected for years. They cited lack of attention from City Council as a reason for the district’s indifference to city politics.

Even outgoing District 4 Councilman Rey Saldaña, who served the maximum four terms on City Council, said in May that South Side San Antonians needed help to change their perspective toward voting after decades of feeling overlooked.

Garcia said the turnout seemed to be on par with what District 4 usually sees during municipal elections. Nearly 6,000 people voted in the runoff.

Garcia also said she was excited to see a women majority on the City Council. She, District 2 Councilwoman-elect Jada Andrews-Sullivan, and District 6 Councilwoman-elect Melissa Cabello Havrda will join Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran (D3), Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales (D5), and Councilwoman Ana Sandoval (D7) on City Council. This will be the second time women make up the majority of City Council.

“Women for a long time have been underrepresented in … City Council, businesses, [boards] of different organizations,” Garcia said. “I think it’s time we have due representation and I’m excited to work with colleagues.”

She intends to make listening to District 4 residents her first priority when getting to office.

“[I want to] make sure we have an open door policy,” Garcia said. “That open line of communication is huge.”

Garcia thanked her supporters and family for giving her their time and support throughout the campaign trail. She said she was ready to keep celebrating her team for the rest of the night.

“I have no other words other than I’m excited,” she said.

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