Cassandra Hernandez holds onto council seat, District 6 race heading for a runoff


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Saturday, voters in City Council Districts 3 and 6 headed to the polls to determine who would represent them.

Voter turnout was low for both races, enticing only 4,237 of the City’s eligible residents to the polls, or 4.49% of registered voters.

District 3

In District 3, incumbent Cassandra Hernandez appears to have held onto her seat on City Council by just 184 votes. She was facing political newcomer, Will Veliz, who is an El Paso Realtor.

Cassandra Hernandez (L) and Will Veliz (R)

Unofficial final results show Hernandez edging Veliz out 52-percent of the vote to Veliz’s 47-percent.

The District 3 election was triggered when someone on Hernandez’s staff launched a Facebook page indicated Hernandez’s intent to run for the Mayoral seat that will be up for election in 2020. By Texas law, an automatic “resign to run” clause was triggered.

Hernandez maintained the Facebook incident was unintentional and she was not declaring intent to run for another office. Veliz was able to close a considerable gap between the November 5 election to the runoff but came just short of ousting the incumbent.

District 6

Debbie Torres (L), and Claudia Rodriguez (R)

In District 6, the area that covers much of the Lower Valley and parts of East El Paso, four candidates were vying for the seat left vacant by Claudia Ordaz Perez after she declared her intent to run for State Representative.

The election failed to garner any of the four candidates with more than 50-percent of the vote and will now head to a runoff between Debbie Torres and Claudia Lizette Rodriguez.

Torres’ campaign was heavily funded, raising $24,184 to Rodriguez’s $6,927. Torres pulled heavily from El Paso’s major Republican donors, Woody Hunt, Paul Foster, Randy and Robert Bowling, and Mayor Margo’s son, Don.

Rodriguez’s donors were mostly small contributions from UTEP Professor Max Grossman, UTEP IT Supervisor Ben Carnevale, and other small donors.

City Council races are non-partisan. No runoff date for the District 6 race has been set yet, but will likely be scheduled mid-January.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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