McAllen mayoral race begins to crowd


McALLEN — A third candidate has joined the race to become the city’s next mayor.

Michael Fallek, a McAllen attorney and business owner, announced his bid for office earlier this week.

“Our city and region are at a critical point due to the effects of the pandemic and the economic uncertainty it has caused,” Fallek said in a news release Thursday. “We need someone who can exhibit strong leadership and has both the business and legal expertise to guide the community through the challenging times ahead.”

Fallek, who has been serving on the Texas Regional Bank Board of Directors for the past 10 years, is no stranger to McAllen.

He currently sits on the McAllen Planning and Zoning Commission and is a former board member of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, former chairman of the Convention Center Advisory Board, and former chairman of Leadership McAllen, a program that aims to develop community leaders.

“Mayor (Jim) Darling has provided tremendous leadership throughout his term in office, especially during the last year, which was filled with difficulties, addressing them with strength and responsibility,” Fallek said in his announcement. “I will provide that same stability and will leverage our city’s many strengths to make McAllen even stronger over the coming years.”

If elected, he said he would focus on bringing more jobs to McAllen, while also helping existing small businesses.

“Michael has helped start a number of successful McAllen-based businesses over the past 20 years, with a particular focus in hospitality and real estate, investing in the community and creating hundreds of jobs for people living in the area,” his news release stated.

Fallek’s family history in McAllen can be traced back four generations, he said. He graduated as salutatorian of his class at McAllen High School and completed his education at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his undergraduate degree and earned his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law.

According to his biography on the Texas Regional Bank website, “in 1998 he joined Castle Hospitality LTD – RGV Properties, Inc. – Boulevard Development Company LC, and became active in the ownership, operation, and development of hotels throughout Texas.

“He now serves as president and general counsel of Castle Hospitality, overseeing finance, real estate, and employment law issues for all three entities,” the website continued.

Fallek will run against McAllen commissioners Veronica Whitacre and Javier Villalobos for the city’s top seat. Villalobos, however, has yet to formally file for a place on the ballot, according to the city’s website. A fourth candidate, Raul I. Cortina submitted paperwork for a campaign treasurer for a potential bid at the mayoral seat, but he too has yet to file for a place on the ballot.

Candidates have until 5 p.m. on Feb. 12 to file the necessary paperwork for a spot on the ballot.