By Edmond Ortiz for NOWCastSA
Just weeks away from San Antonio’s May 4 municipal elections, Mayor Ron Nirenberg has the biggest campaign war chest of all the candidates.
April 4 was a deadline for candidates to file campaign finance reports to the city clerk’s office. The next filing deadline is April 29, 2019.
This article includes links to the summary reports filed as of April 4 by 32 of the 57 candidates running for mayor and city council. The reports show how much the candidates have raised, where their donations are coming from, the contribution balance at that time, and any loans taken out to fund the campaign.
During the campaign period, individual donors may not give more than $500 to a city council candidate or officeholder and individual donors may not give more than $1,000 to a mayoral candidate or officeholder. San Antonio’s elections are non-partisan, meaning candidates officially are not affiliated with a political party on the ballot.
Click on the candidate's name to see their report.
The race for Mayor of San Antonio
Ron Nirenberg's report: Mayor Nirenberg’s April 4 report covers the period of Jan. 1-March 25. He reported expenses of $159,128 and contributions of $152,238. He had a total contribution balance of $283,183 as of April 4.
Notable contributors to Nirenberg’s campaign over the last two reporting periods include $1,000 each from the Texas Transportation Commission Chairman Bruce Bugg, former Mayor Phil Hardberger, attorney Cary Barton, developer/philanthropist Gordon Hartman, Alamo Area Council of Governments Executive Director Diane Rath, and political action committees (PAC) on behalf of the Boeing Co., Valero Energy, NuStar Energy Co., and Landry’s Restaurants.
Greg Brockhouse's report: District 6 Councilman Brockhouse is the mayor’s most visible challenger. In his April 4 report, Brockhouse reported $51,290 in contributions and $44,527 in expenditures over the same reporting period. He had a total contribution balance of $14,909. Brockhouse also reported loaned his campaign $10,000.
Notable contributors to Brockhouse’s mayoral campaign are $1,000 each from homebuilder Wayne Harwell and Mark Granados, and $500 each from developer Dan Markson, PACs representing the city’s fire and police pension, and the police and firefighters unions.
Prior to his election to the council, Brockhouse was a consultant to the police and fire unions during their legal battles with the city over new collective bargaining agreements. Brockhouse also supported the fire union’s proposals for city charter revisions in last November’s special election.
Together, Nirenberg and Brockhouse are considered by many political observers as the front-runners in this year’s mayoral race.
The other contestants for the top job have either never run for public office or pulled in less than 5 percent of the vote in other campaigns.
Matt Pina's report: Mayoral hopeful Pina reported $7,121 in contributions and $6,592 in expenses in his April 4 report. But he recorded a zero contribution balance. Pina previously served on the city’s transportation advisory board, and once ran for Texas Land Commissioner.
Tim Atwood's report: Mayoral candidate Atwood filed an April 4 report that features only one dollar figure — $738 in expenses.
Bert Cecconi's report: Perennial candidate Cecconi is again running for mayor. His April 4 report has $1,100 in contributions, $28,138 in expenses, and a $62,961 balance. Cecconi is a retired dentist and military veteran whose yard signs tout his pledge for tuition-free junior college.
City Council District 1
Roberto Treviño's report: In City Council District 1, incumbent Roberto Treviño on April 4 reported $40,625 in contributions, $56,508 in expenses, and a $30,038 balance.
His notable contributors include $500 from homebuilder Michael Beldon, $250 from District 8 City Councilman Manny Pelaez, and $500 each from developer Patrick Shearer, physician Morris Stribling and Teresa Niño, Alta Vista Neighborhood Association president.
Justin Holley's report: Holley, vice president and partner of ABH Hospitality, is considered a serious challenger to Trevino’s re-election bid.
Holley’s April 4 report contained $5,097 in contributions, $54,940 in expenses, but a zero contribution balance. He also reported $47,921 in outstanding loans.
Brad Kessler's report: Kessler, a renowned challenger to Trevino, submitted an April 4 report with $977 in contributions, $616 in expenses, but a zero contribution balance. Notable contributors to Holley’s campaign include $500 from auto dealership magnate Ernesto Ancira, $800 total from San Antonio Area Tourism Council CEO Marco Barros, $600 total from former Haven for Hope CEO George Block, $250 from former Councilman John Clamp, $500 from Mark Grandaos, and $1,000 from Phillips Entertainment CEO Davis Phillips.
City Council District 2
Keith Toney's report: In District 2, Toney is mounting another bid for the East Side council seat. He submitted an April 4 report with a $4,230 balance with $5,255 in contributions and $1,601 in expenses. Notable contributions to Toney’s campaign include $500 from Beverly Watts-Davis, an executive with Westcare Foundation of San Antonio and $250 from Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce official Tyrone Darden.
Walter E. Perry's report: Perry, another District 2 contestant, filed an April 4 report with $247 in contributions, $599 in expenses, but a zero contribution balance.
City Council District 3
Rebecca Viagran's report: District 3 Councilwoman Viagran had $9,135 in contributions, $5,453 in expenses, and a balance of $41,971, as of April 4. Her notable contributions include $500 each from former District 3 Councilwoman Debra Guerrero and businessman David Zachry, $250 from the Davidson Trolio Ream and Garza Committee for Civic Awareness, $500 from Frost Bank President Pat Frost, $500 from PACs for the San Antonio Hotel and Lodging Association and for USAA Employees, and $250 from State Rep. Ina Minjarez.
Elizabeth “Liz” Campos' report: Campos reported a $403 balance by Jan. 15 with $2,717 in contributions and $1,346 in expenditures.
Her notable contributions have included $500 from Doug Brown Construction, and $500 from State Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston). A business owner, Campos, previously ran for the District 3 council seat and once worked for former State Sen. Carlos Uresti.
City Council District 4
Adriana Garcia's report: Garcia, former chairwoman of the city’s Ethics Review Board, is considered a front-runner in the race to succeed term-limited District 4 Councilman Rey Saldana.
Her April 4 campaign finance report includes $14,612 in contributions, $12,246 in expenses, but a zero contribution balance. She loaned her campaign $20,000 in a previous reporting period.
Garcia's notable contributors (over the last two reporting periods) include $200 from restaurateur Louis Barros, $100 from South San Antonio Chamber President/CEO Al Arreola, $500 from Michael Beldon, $500 from businessman/philanthropist Bill Greehey, $500 from Friends of (County Judge) Nelson Wolff, $500 from the NuStar Energy company PAC, and $500 from Demonte Alexander, an aide to former District 2 Councilman Alan Warrick and a current political consultant.
Johnny Arredondo's report: District 4 canidate Arredondo, a retiree, reported on April 4 $1,350 in contributions, $4,027 in expenses, and a balance of $2,410. Arredondo ran for the same council seat in 2017.
According to public records, Arredondo has a 1999 conviction for reckless driving in Travis County. As a volunteer basketball referee, Arredondo reportedly ignored a plain-clothed police officer’s warnings about a road closure as he sought to get to a school to officiate a game.
Joel Mendoza's report: District 4 candidate Mendoza, an insurance sales agent, filed an April 4 report that includes $690 in contributions, $450 in expenses, but a zero contribution balance.
City Council District 5
Shirley Gonzales' report: District 5 Councilwoman Gonzales reported $8,659 in contributions, $9,667 in expenditures, and a balance of $11,866 as of April 4. Her notable contributions include $500 each from the Halff Associates PAC, attorney Jorge Herrera, and Bexar County Commissioner “Chico” Rodriguez’s campaign.
Anthony Gres: Gres, a business owner, submitted an April 4 report that includes $42,575 in expenses, a $9,818 balance, and $45,000 in outstanding loans. A search of campaign finance records does not immediately turn up names of contributors.
City Council District 6
Melissa Cabello Havrda's report: Attorney Havrda is considered a front-runner in the race to succeed Greg Brockhouse in District 6. Brockhouse topped Havrda in the 2017 runoff election.
Havrda in her April 4 report tallied $9,332 in expenditures, $12,170 in contributions, and $2,358 cash on hand. Her notable contributors include $500 each from former bank executive James Goudge, Friends for Nelson Wolff, “Chico” Rodriguez’ campaign and the police union, and $250 from Pat Frost.
Mario Adame's report: District 6 candidate Adame reported on April 4 contributions totaling $1,080, and $1,416 in expenses, but a zero balance.
Andrew Greene's report: District 6 hopeful Greene, a certified public accountant, filed an April 4 report including $3,630 in contributions, $3,680 in expenditures, $4,631 cash on hand, with $5,000 in outstanding loans. John Folks, former Northside Independent School District superintendent, donated $250 to Greene’s campaign. Greene once worked for Councilman Brockhouse and for now-State Rep. Ray Lopez when he served with the council.
City Council District 7
Ana Sandoval's report: District 7 incumbent Sandoval reported $33,293 in contributions, $60,900 in expenses, and a balance of $13,940 by April 4.
Sandoval’s notable contributions include: $250 each from Councilman Pelaez, the firm Marmon Mok Architecture, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s campaign and former state senator and former mayoral candidate Leticia Van de Putte; $500 each from former Councilwoman Maria Berriozábal, Michael Beldon, and the campaign funds of Nirenberg, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro and County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez; and $100 each from Rey Saldana and former County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson.
Will McLeod: One of three of Sandoval’s challengers, McLeod last filed a campaign finance report on Jan. 15, but it has nothing but zeroes. McLeod, a former mayoral candidate, works as an investigative journalist and in private security.
Trevor Whitney's report: Whitney is another District 7 hopeful. A Marine Corps veteran who owns a public relations/media business and oversees governmental relations for Blue Duck Scooters, Whitney’s April 4 report includes $1,417 in contributions, $2,692 in expenses, and a $797 balance.
Kimberly Grant's report: District 7 candidate Grant's April 4 report tallied $300 in contributions, $231 in expenses, but a zero contribution balance.
City Council District 8
Manny Pelaez's report: In District 8, incumbent Pelaez stated in his April 4 report that he had $37,434 in contributions, $32,850 in expenses, and $31,329 cash on hand. Pelaez’ notable contributions include $250 from San Antonio Medical Foundation President Jim Reed, $100 from Ana Sandoval’s campaign, $500 each from the USAA Employee, Valero and Security Service Federal Credit Union PACs, Pat Frost, Red McCombs, and business owners Gary Cram and Katie Harvey.
Frankie Gonzales-Wolfe's report: Business Executive Gonzales-Wolfe, a challenger to Pelaez, reported $3,972 in contributions, $4,896 in expenses, and a balance of $444 as of April 4. Her notable contributions have included $250 total from businesswoman Joyce Townsend, and $250 from attorney Isabel de la Riva. If victorious, Gonzales-Wolfe would be the first transgendered woman elected to the council.
Tony Valdivia's report: Valdivia reported $3,305 in contributions, $2,536 in expenses, and a balance of $1,154 by April 4. His notable contributors include $500 from zoning commission member Patricia Gibbons, who ran for the District 9 council seat in 2017.
City Council District 9
John Courage's report: District 9 Councilman Courage's April 4 report showed $17,375 in contributions, $13,843 in expenses, and $13,131 cash on hand, along with $28,000 in outstanding loans. Courage’s notable contributors include $260 from Marcie Ince, who has served on boards of directors of various local organizations, $250 from Phil Hardberger, and $500 each from Bill Greehey, Michael Beldon, attorneys Pat Maloney and Michael and Brenna Nava, and PACs representing NuStar Energy, USAA Employees, the police union, engineering firm HDR, and law firm Linebarger Goggan Blair and Sampson.
Patrick Von Dohlen's report: Dohlen reported $5,632 in contributions, but zeroes in expenses and cash on hand. He received a $500 contribution from a retired bishop, the Rev. John Yanta, and $100 from Jack Finger, a familiar critic at council meetings and supporter of local conservative causes. Business owner Von Dohlen is a prominent local conservative activist, and ran for the District 9 post in 2017.
Richard Reza Versace's report: Kinesiotherapist Versace, another District 9 candidate, filed an April 4 report that includes $150 in contributions, $821 spent, but a zero balance.
Nicholas Balderas' report: District 9 contestant Balderas, a software developer and realtor, said in his April 4 report he had taken in $1,000 in contributions, $3,815 in expenses, and had $43 cash on hand.
City Council District 10
Clayton Perry's report: As of press time, District 10 Councilman Perry has only filed a Jan. 15 report that included $19,550 in contributions, $13,119 in expenses, and a $55,235 balance. His notable contributions include $500 each from PACs representing Halff Associates, Security Service Federal Credit Union and the police union, Pat Frost, developer Phil Bakke, and from former City Councilman Reed Williams and Mike Gallagher.
Reinette King's report: One of Perry’s higher profile challengers, community leader King, reported $4,700 in contributions, $11,935 in expenses, and a $822 balance in her April 4 report. Her notable contributors include Lubbock-based attorney Mallory Miller. King was a District 10 contestant in 2017.
Maria Perez's report: Fellow District 10 candidate, nonprofit owner and founder Perez, so far has filed only a Jan. 15 report but it has nothing but zeroes.