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It was a night of upsets in Hidalgo County as incumbents across several cities lost their bids to keep their seats on their respective city councils during Saturday’s municipal elections.


Starting off in the city of Hidalgo, the candidates had split up into two opposing political slates, each led by one sitting incumbent.

In the end, the “Hidalgo Unidos Por El Cambio,” or Hidalgo United for Change slate, led by Place 5 incumbent, Bertha Sosa, came out on top once the polls closed.

Her running mates, Jose Luis “Wero” Ayala and Jorge Augusto Contreras, completed the sweep for Hidalgo as they won their races for Places 1 and 3, respectively.

Ayala beat longtime incumbent, Gustavo “Gus” Sanchez, who has served as the Place 1 councilman for more than a decade.

Gustavo “Gus” Sanchez was elected by about 55% of the vote in 2012, the furthest back that voting data is available on the Hidalgo County Elections Department website.

However, on Saturday, it was Ayala who garnered a majority of the votes with 1,354, or nearly 60%, to Gustavo “Gus” Sanchez’s 903 votes.

All elections results remain unofficial until canvassed by each municipality.

Meanwhile, at Place 3, “Cambio” candidate Contreras defeated Raul Sanchez by 376 votes — 1,316 to 940.

And finally, Hidalgo voters reelected Bertha Sosa to her Place 5 seat by a 2-to-1 margin over Dennis Hernandez. Sosa won 1,452 votes to Hernandez’s 812.

Like Sosa and her running mates, Hernandez, Gustavo “Gus” Sanchez and Raul Sanchez had joined forces to seek office together on the “Hidalgo Advancement Coalition” slate.


In Palmview, Place 1 incumbent Javier Ramirez is facing a runoff against challenger Esequiel “Zeke” Ortiz Jr.

Ramirez was the top vote getter, with 538 votes to Ortiz’s 431. A third candidate, Maria Cristina Alanis, got 235 votes.

However, with three candidates in the Place 1 race, no one won the 50%-plus 1 votes necessary to win outright.

Ramirez secured just under 45% of the votes, while Ortiz got nearly 36%.

Meanwhile, Ortiz joined Place 3 incumbent, Alexandra Flores, to form the “Palmview Strong” slate.

Flores won her race handily over Ramirez’s “Progress for Palmview” running mate, Eric Edward Sanchez.

Flores earned nearly two-thirds of the votes, with 747 to Eric Sanchez’s 451, county records show.


Over in the county’s easternmost city, La Villa, longtime Mayor Alma Morón lost her reelection bid to a candidate who has run for office before, Rosa Perez.

Morón was first elected to office by just four votes during a June 2016 runoff race against then-longtime Mayor Hector Elizondo.

In that same 2016 election cycle, Perez ran for — and lost — the race for the Place 5 seat on the La Villa Board of Aldermen.

The winner of that race was David Palomin Sr., who, at the time, defeated Perez by 53 votes.

But this time around, both Morón and Palomin failed to keep their seats.

After the county’s election tallies shook out Saturday evening, they showed that Perez had defeated Morón for the mayor’s seat by 87 votes — 388 to 301.

Meanwhile, Perez’s running mate, Jesus Rodriguez Jr., won by 385 votes to Palomin’s 304 for Place 5.

Palomin, too, had formed a slate with Place 4 candidate, John Espericueta, to try to unseat incumbent Jorge Lopez Jr. But that effort failed.

Lopez held onto his Place 4 seat on the board of aldermen by just 16 votes — 351 to Espericueta’s 335.


Elsewhere in the Delta, though three seats on the Elsa City Council were set for election this cycle, only one race drew multiple candidates.

Incumbents Victor Hernandez and Frances S. Rocha ran unopposed for their Place 2 and 4 seats, respectively.

Victor Hernandez has served on the Elsa council since 2012, while Rocha has served since 2018, city records show.

Meanwhile, it was a three-way race for the Place 3 seat, where longtime incumbent, Rick Sanchez, was hoping for another four years on the dais.

Like Victor Hernandez, Rick Sanchez has served on the council since 2012; but that tenure has now come to an end.

Instead, Hernandez’s running mate, Fernando Rosa Sr., emerged victorious in the three-way race against Sanchez and Esiquiel “Zeke” Avila Jr.

Rosa won nearly two-thirds of the Elsa electorate with 464 votes to Sanchez’s 233.

Meanwhile, Avila, who has mounted several unsuccessful campaigns for the Elsa City Council and the Edcouch-Elsa Independent School District Board of Trustees, earned just 52 votes in Saturday’s city election.