Top (from left to right): Debbie Crane Aliseda and Lucia Regalado. Bottom (from left to right): Gilda M. Garcia and Sofia M. Pena.

McALLEN — Voters in the McAllen school board election will see two contested races on the ballot.

The final candidate to register, Lucia Regalado, will run against incumbent Debbie Crane Aliseda, who is seeking to defend her Place 1 seat.

Gilda M. Garcia and Sofia M. Pena both filed to run for the Place 6 post earlier this year, which was left undefended after incumbent Larry Esparza opted to launch a bid for a spot on the McAllen City Commission.

Sam Saldivar Jr., the Place 7 incumbent, will run unopposed for that seat.

Regalado, Crane-Aliseda’s challenger, is a McAllen attorney and mediator.

“I’m excited to run for this position because the students, parents and stakeholders of McAllen ISD need a new voice on the Board. I am confident that the skills I’ve honed through both my professional and philanthropic experience will enable me to be an asset to McAllen ISD,” Regalado wrote in a release.

Regalado says she is a former prosecutor with over eight years of legal experience who now operates her own practice in McAllen. A McAllen native and McAllen school district graduate, she touted her experience with the Junior League of McAllen Inc., Region One Mock Trial and the South Texas Literacy Coalition’s Lawyers for Literacy, along with her service on the McAllen Airport Advisory Board and the McAllen Traffic Commission.

“As an attorney, Regalado regularly represents at-risk students in the juvenile court, so she understands the problems some [of] our students face and is dedicated to steering them back on track,” Regalado’s release said.

Crane-Aliseda has served two terms on the board so far, during which she pointed to her support of teachers, as well as the expansion of academic programs in fine arts, dual language immersion, science and technology.

“Public school districts are the backbone of a community,” Crane-Aliseda wrote in a release. “An education changes the trajectory of a family, of a community. To achieve that quality education, that skilled workforce, you need a successful school district. This is done by electing board members who are competent, have the time, preparedness and integrity to be trusted with your money and your children. I have a proven record of precisely these qualities and ask you to continue trusting me to make sound decisions for our school district.”

Crane-Aliseda’s release included a long list of detailing her civic involvement and professional experience, along with compliments from previous trustee Hilda De Shazo and current trustee Danny Vela.

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