Last day of early voting; District 3 and 4 seats up for grabs

Tuesday marks the last day of early voting for Brownsville’s municipal runoff election, in which voters will decide who will fill Brownsville City Commission seats for districts 3 and 4.

The early voting polls will open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. The runoff election is scheduled for Saturday.

The district 3 race pits Roy De Los Santos against Jessica Puente Bradshaw. District 3 covers parts of north Brownsville and areas along Palm Boulevard.

Neither candidate has served previously on the city commission, and both are hoping to bring changes to the district that they say will better serve the community. De los Santos has focused his campaign on municipal audits and making it easier to open a business in Brownsville. Puente-Bradshaw has focused on the beautification of streets and increased recycling programs.

During May’s municipal election, De los Santos received 876 votes against Puente-Bradshaw’s 748 votes.

In the district 4 runoff election, incumbent Ben Neece is being challenged by political newcomer Pedro Cardenas. District 4 covers part of the city’s west side, including areas along Military Highway leading up to U.S. Expressway 77/83.

Neece has served in the city commission for one term and, if reelected, Neece said he will focus more on the “new space” concept, in which the city becomes a space entrepot. Cardenas said he wants to focus on updating the permitting department so that it is easier to open businesses in the city.

Neece received 588 votes while Cardenas received 677 in May’s municipal election.

Remi Garza, elections administrator for the Cameron County Elections and Voter Registration Department, said he is hoping that Tuesday will draw a turnout of voters similar to the final day of early voting in the past election. On April 27, the last day of early voting in the municipal election, voter turnout numbered 1,076 voters. As of Sunday, a total of 1,614 early votes had been cast in the runoff election. Monday’s voter turnout numbers were not immediately available as of press time.

“It is a positive showing; the voters are still engaged in the district races for the City of Brownsville. Even taking into account that there was [on the May 1 election] an at-large position on the ballot which had more voters that were available,” Garza said. “To see a strongest showing for even a smaller group of eligible voters is really encouraging

Early voting locations are available Tuesday at the Brownsville Events Center; Brownsville Public Library; Good Shepherd Community Church; Main Office at the Cameron County Judicial Complex; and the New Horizon Medical Center.