It’s a question of when, not if, Councilman Greg Brockhouse will run for mayor of San Antonio, he said Tuesday night.
Brockhouse’s wife, Annalisa, may have been the only one surprised by her husband’s statement that “the duty will call and, yes, I will [run].”
“This is news to me,” Annalisa said with a smile after the first-term District 6 councilman participated in a public discussion hosted by the Rivard Report at the San Antonio Food Bank on the city’s Southwest side. Many have speculated about a potential mayoral run for Brockhouse, who describes himself as a “riddle wrapped up in an enigma” and is a consistent dissenting voice in most major policy discussions at City Hall.
For Brockhouse, it’s just matter of timing, he said on stage to the crowd of almost 50 people (while Annalisa shook her finger from the back), “but the answer is yes.”
He doesn’t rule out a campaign to unseat Mayor Ron Nirenberg as early as 2019.
“The Lord will tell me when the time comes,” Brockhouse said. “What I think San Antonio needs is a different path, and I think we are legitimately on the wrong path at City Hall.”
Brockhouse has criticized the mayor’s leadership style and policy directions since they both took office in June. And both have experience in trying to unseat an incumbent; Brockhouse lost a previous attempt to win a council seat in 2013 to Ray Lopez, but Nirenberg unseated second-term incumbent Mayor Ivy Taylor.
Watch the full conversation here.
“I lost in 2013 for a reason, and the door opened for me now,” he said.
Among other criticisms, Brockhouse called out Nirenberg for his “unilateral decision-making” when it comes to important issues including new board members for a troubled Tricentennial Commission, moving forward with an appeal to the Texas Supreme Court in the City’s lawsuit against the fire union, backing out of the race for Amazon’s second headquarters, and Tuesday’s announcement of a new committee that will focus on the San Antonio International Airport’s future.
“[Nirenberg] speaks more to the County Judge than he does his own council,” he said during the one-on-one discussion with Rivard Report Publisher Robert Rivard.
Brockhouse also reiterated his opposition to what he referred to as the mayor’s so-called “leadership by slogan” mentality. From “the city you deserve,” Nirenberg’s campaign slogan, to “equity lens,” Brockhouse said a more community–based and data-driven approach is what he would bring to City Hall should he be elected. He would also question term limits.
“I don’t think honestly somebody should serve for eight years on City Council. I think it’s too long – it’s just too much, you need fresher blood,” he said. “Everybody wants to run for mayor down there. Anybody who tells you they don’t, I’m sorry, [that’s] absolutely untrue.”
Jason Johnson, who served for eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps and is now a student at the University of Texas at San Antonio, told Brockhouse during the question-and-answer session that he was “disappointed” in his fellow millennials for their lack of civic engagement.
It’s not just millennials, Brockhouse said, voter turnout of all age groups is abysmal.
But Brockhouse pointed to his vote to approve the removal of the Confederate statue in Travis Park: It was the testimony of one young black girl that changed his mind.
He encouraged Johnson to stay engaged and show up to meetings because “it does make a difference.” After the event, Brockhouse wrote his cellphone number on the back of his card for Johnson to stay in touch.