Recount affirms San Juan mayor’s reelection

Mario Garza and Jesse Ramirez

The recount to confirm the results of the San Juan mayoral race in the June 12 runoff election shows that Mayor Mario Garza did indeed defeat challenger Jesus “Jesse” Ramirez.

Representatives from each campaign were present to witness the recount Monday morning at the Hidalgo County Elections Department, located at 213 S. Closner in Edinburg.

“First of all, I just want to thank God for this whole process and giving me the opportunity to serve another four years,” Garza said following the recount results. “I felt very confident in regards to the recount. You know, 33 votes is a pretty high number to challenge. I’d understand if it was one or two votes.”

In the end, the results of the recount showed that the June 12 runoff election results were accurate. Garza defeated Ramirez by a final tally of 1,574 votes to 1,541— a margin of 33 votes.

Ramirez, who’d previously served as the Place 3 commissioner, filed for a recount on Tuesday, June 22, the same day that Garza was scheduled to take his oath of office. That was put on hold as a result.

Garza voiced his frustration about the recount but expressed confidence in the process.

“I know that the county ran this election pretty effectively,” Garza said Monday. “I was pleased with it. Not only was I pleased with it, but the citizens were also pleased with what transpired today.”

Ramirez said that he felt it was necessary to request a recount given the small margin between each candidate’s total number of votes. He said that he was inspired to submit the request after speaking with his supporters.

“What we wanted was just to go through the whole process,” Ramirez said Monday. “There were several voters that were requesting that I submit for a recount, and basically that’s why I did it. I just wanted to make sure that everybody had peace of mind. We went through the process, and the outcome remained the same, so we move forward. That’s all we can do.”

Ramirez expressed gratitude to his supporters for the opportunity to serve them for seven years, and said that he is already planning a campaign for a seat on the city commission in 2023.

“Hopefully in two years, we’ll throw our hat in the race again and give it a second shot,” Ramirez said.