Saldaña Hints at Potential Bid For Mayor

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Councilman Rey Saldaña (D4). Photo by Scott Ball.

Scott Ball / Rivard Report

Councilman Rey Saldaña (D4)

Councilman Rey Saldaña signaled a possible mayoral run Thursday night when asked about his political future at a community forum at San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology at Port San Antonio.

“If I were to be in elected office after this I think you might spy me running for mayor,” said Saldaña. “The question just would be the timing of that.”

The senior Councilman’s fourth and final term ends in 2019. Saldaña said his good working relationship with Mayor Ron Nirenberg would impact when he would run, if he decided to launch a campaign.

“I like our Mayor, and he’s a partner and a friend on a lot of good work,” Saldaña said. “I think he and I see the world in the same way.”

The event Thursday, which was part of the Rivard Report‘s Conversations with the Council series, was moderated by Rivard Report Editor-in-Chief Beth Frerking. Watch a live recording of the event here.

Saldaña, 31, was first elected to Council in 2011 at age 24. He considered running for mayor in the May 2017 election, but instead decided to continue his focus on District 4, one of the largest districts in the city by geographical area

“There was a time where I thought I would be running for mayor pretty quickly,” Saldaña said. He said he believes he has finally hit his stride as a Council member.

Councilman Rey Saldaña (D4) describes decades of neglect in the Southside during a community forum at at San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology.

Iris Dimmick / Rivard Report

Rivard Report Editor in Chief Beth Frerking (left) listens as Councilman Rey Saldaña (D4) describes decades of neglect in the Southside during a community forum at at San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology.

His district includes Joint Base-San AntonioTexas A&M University-San Antonio, Port San Antonio, South San Antonio Independent School District, and extends south toward Applewhite Road. More than 80% of District 4 residents are Latinos.

The Southside native said he believes that his district will see developments in the near future similar to those at Brooks Air Force base.

“I think what you’re going to see is a lot of those same types of developments that are moving in the direction of our district on the Southwest side,” Saldaña said. “For folks who have been patient and have lived in the community for a long time, they’ll start to see some changes.”

The 2017 $850 million bond includes nearly $24 million dollars to repair drainage problems at Port San Antonio and $7 million to improve sidewalks in District 4 neighborhoods that for decades lost out to projects in other parts of the city with higher vote turnouts, he said. The district will also get a boost in funds from the City’s $2.7 billion budget for 2018, which was approved by Council in September. It’s the first budget in the city’s history to use a so-called “equity lens,” which divvies up more resources to areas that have been historically overlooked or underfunded.

Those new funds will contribute to the district’s infrastructure and hopes for development. Responding to a question about solutions for gentrification, Saldaña said he wasn’t yet concerned about displacement in his district.

“Right now I think myself and the rest of the community members, if you polled them, would say that we want development,” Saldaña said. “We haven’t seen development in this community in the last 40 [or] 50 years.”

The next Conversations with the Council event will feature Councilman William “Cruz” Shaw (D2) and take place Tuesday, Nov. 14, at Alamo Beer. For more information, click here.

Reporter Rocío Guenther contributed to this article.


6 thoughts on “Saldaña Hints at Potential Bid For Mayor

  1. I support all representatives that truely make an efforts to address the issues in the communities they represents. Tired of us electing pretty boys or girls that are from the community, left and got educated in a to university but came home noe is lost not knowing who they should represent.

    I was raised in South San barrios. I have seen growth but also seen the same junk yards up and down Somerset Rd. keeping our communities down. The school district has many of the same problems we had in 1972 when I graduated.

    Representatives should aspire to move up but not at the expense of the communities they are represented by not representing them.

    Now that developers are running out of room in other parts of town. The southside will be their next target to develop. You will see the money flow in where money was never available in the last century.

    So it not about the politicians in office that are NOT running our city. It about the power/money brokers that control our politicians and are truly running the city.

    Show me a representative that fights tooth and nail for their area and I can say that is the guy we should support.

    Show we a pretty boy or girl trying to keep everyone happy and you can bet he or she does not have the areas best interest in mine.

  2. I wonder when they are going to develop the area I live in we still have septic tanks and we have to use internet that is very slow speed Spectrum doesn’t even go into our area not even when it was time warner. It has been that way since I moved to the area in 2001. I still live in Bexar County and pay my taxes we don’t even have paved roads!

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