El Campo’s political season gets under way next Wednesday, the first day city council hopefuls can file for district posts.
Voters will decide the issue on the first Saturday in May, assuming the upcoming election isn’t delayed by concerns over COVID-19 infection numbers statewide as was the case with May 2020 balloting.
It’s been just two months since city voters were finally able to pick at-large representatives and, via a charter change, name the top vote-getter mayor.
Current district office holders are: Anisa Vasquez in District 1, Gloria Harris in District 2, David Hodges in District 3 and John Hancock in District 4.
Vasquez, appointed to the unexpired term vacated by Councilman Jeff Allgayer last year, was uncontested in her bid to finish the term in November 2020 balloting.
In 2013, Vasquez had been appointed to finish an at-large term vacated by Chase Nielsen as he took the city’s EMS director’s post, one he later resigned from. Vasquez then won at-large terms from 2014 to 2018, but opted not to seek re-election in 2018.
District 1, an area for the most part east of North Mechanic, offered up just 11 votes in 2019 balloting for the uncontested Allgayer.
Despite 10-year term limits, Harris has spent 28 years on the El Campo City Council, a feat made possible by one-year breaks between decades of service.
District 2 is west of South Wharton Street and south of the railroad tracks.
Harris, who was uncontested in 2019, collected just four votes.
Hodges beat three time incumbent Tommy Hitzfeld to claim a spot on council two years ago in a 155 to 125 vote.
Previously an El Campo school board trustee, Hodges serves the area bounded to the north by West Norris Street, to the east by North Mechanic Street and to the south by the railroad tracks.
Hancock is completing his second term in office and, with the departure of Mayor Randy Collins due to term limits, has taken the lead in the city’s battle against blight.
District 4 is generally north of West Norris Street and West of North Wharton Street although it also includes the area around El Campo Middle School.
Uncontested, Hancock gathered 95 votes in 2019 balloting.
Preparing for the election
All candidates must state their intention to run by Feb. 12.
The public has until April 1 to register to vote in the May election. Early balloting starts April 19 and runs through April 27. Election Day will be Saturday, May 1.