May 29 was a rough night for former San Antonio City Council members.
Delicia Herrera, already battling excruciating lower-back and elbow pain from a car wreck while on the campaign trail, watched former colleague Justin Rodriguez put a major hurt on her in the Democratic primary for Texas House District 125. John Clamp, the presumed favorite in the Republican primary for Bexar County Tax Assessor-Collector, lost a heartbreakingly close race to political newcomer Robert Stovall. Jennifer Ramos fell short in her bid to unseat County Commissioner Sergio “Chico” Rodriguez, a campaign for which she resigned her Council seat only seven months into her term. And the relatively fortunate Philip Cortez found himself facing a tough runoff with well-funded local attorney Tina Torres in State Representative District 117.
All three primary losers (and Cortez, if he falls short in the runoff) face the very real possibility that their political careers may be over, that City Council might be the highest elective office they ever attain. If so, they’ll have plenty of company. Over the last five years, seven former Council members have tried and failed to move up the political ladder (not to mention Lourdes Galvan and Elena Guajardo, who were voted out of Council after one term, and later failed to regain their seats), and now find themselves with no viable campaign options. Five others haven’t even bothered to make the attempt.