Deadlock in Leftwich Flores race
By JERRY DEAL
Mayor Chris Boswell will continue to be Harlingen’s mayor, as he easily defeated three opponents in Saturday’s city election, based on unofficial election returns.
However, beleaguered Place 1 City Commissioner Larry Galbreath lost his bid for re-election to upstart Gustavo “Gus” Ruiz.
Ruiz had 572 votes (51 percent), Galbreath had 500 (44 percent ) and Chino Sanchez had 53 (5 percent) in the unofficial returns.
Also, in what is considered a political surprise, incumbent Place 2 Commissioner Robert Leftwich was nearly deadlocked with challenger Elaine Flores. The unofficial votes showed her with 374 votes and Leftwich with 371.
In other local voting, the $98 million Harlingen schools bond issue passed easily and trustee candidate Greg Powers handily defeated Janine Deal.
Boswell, a local attorney, garnered 2,231 votes (57 percent) in his bid for re-election in what was a sometimes hot tempered race. Finishing second was minister and property owner George Merrill, who had 1,118 votes, or 29 percent.
Retired Harlingen police lieutenant Joe Rubio had 405 votes (10 percent) and Joe Flores had 162 votes (4 percent).
Ruiz, a Harlingen native, a former Harlingen High School athlete and a former U.S. Marine, carried a positive campaign until the last day, when he blasted Galbreath in the media in many ways.
In what was the hottest battle in the city commission, Galbreath had made a number of negative remarks against Ruiz.
Most believed that Leftwich would have no problem in defeating Flores, a secretary at Texas State Technical College, but she apparently had serious backing from those who believed Leftwich was too heavy handed with the affairs of the city.
Without a doubt there will be a challenge to the results.
In Los Fresnos, City Commisisoner Polo Narvaez easily defeated A.A. Cantu, 208 votes to 78 for the unexpired term of mayor.
Also, in the school board election, Robert Trevino had 483 unoficial votes to 288 for Miguel “Mike Mendoza.
Incumbent Martin Castilla defated former longtime school board member Dr. A.N. “Nick” Vallardo, 486-265.
In Bayview, Tom Rodino defeated Robyn Dahl for an unexpired term, 54 votes to 28.
In Rio Hondo, apparently three of four incumbents were defeated.
In place 1, Guystavo Oliveras had 214 votes to 112 for incumbent Polly Lozano.
In Place 2, Gloria Barrientes had 160 votes for 155 by incumbent Joe Rodriguez, and in Place 5, incumbent Anna Lozano was defeated by Arnulfo “Kitter” Huerta.
The only survivor was incumbent Gerald Hartzog, who had 183 votes toto 46 for Gilberto Santana in Place 3..