Past Experience Counts

Anisa Longoria Vasquez, right, will serve the next four months as the city’s District 1 representative, a decision made largely based on her prior years on city council. During the upcoming May election cycle, voters will be asked to decide who will serve out the remaining year.

Former El Campo City Councilwoman Anisa Longoria Vasquez was appointed to fill the District 1 post vacated by Jeff Allgayer Monday night in a unanimous vote.

She will be sworn in Monday, Jan. 27, selected over applicant John VonDerAu, a businessman who serves on the Planning & Zoning Commission.

The appointment only lasts through May when voters will decide who they want in the District 1 post for the next year along with at-large representatives and proposed changes to the City’s Charter.

“I don’t have anything against John VonDerAu, but it’s only four months. Anisa has lots of experience,” Councilman David Hodges said.

Vasquez started her service on city council in 2013 when she was appointed to the District 1 post to fill the seat vacated by Chase Nielsen.

She was later elected to the post, serving one term before losing to Allgayer in the May 2017 race.

“I have honestly felt lost not being here,” Vasquez told the Leader-News. “I think it’s a huge thing to give back. I have my kids’ support and my husband’s.”

Vasquez added that she had been planning to run for city council in May, saying she’d like to see council better compare to the city’s demographics.

“Having diversity is important. It offers a good balance in decision making,” she said.

Councilwoman Gloria Harris had been against Vasquez’ initial appointment in 2013, but offered her whole-hearted support Monday night, urging her to run at-large in May.

If a pending charter proposal making the top vote-getter among at-large candidates mayor for two years is approved by voters, Harris said, “Think about that, you might be the next mayor. We’ve never had a woman to be mayor.”

Vasquez is a life-long El Campo resident who graduated from El Campo High School in 1997. She is a teacher with previous experience as a social worker.

El Campo City Council District 1 is the section east of Hwy. 71, but south of both Doris and Franke streets with the exception of a triangle of neighborhoods bounded by Railroad and South Wharton.

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