Saturday night proved to be quite the interesting contest for the Alamo City, as a veteran Democratic politician was defeated by a relative newcomer.
Ivy Taylor, former City Council member and current interim Mayor of San Antonio won her election against Leticia Van de Putte in a somewhat close race. But at the end of the night, it wasn’t as close as some predicted.
Here’s more on Taylor’s historic victory from The Rivard Report…
Interim Mayor Ivy Taylor was the last candidate to jump into the race, had the least experience in elected office of the four major candidates, and was outspent at least 2-1 by runoff opponent and former state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte. None of that was enough to unseat her from the office she has held on an interim basis since last July when Julían Castro stepped down to go to Washington and join the Obama administration.
Taylor’s victory Saturday makes her the first African-American and only the second woman to win election to the mayor’s office in San Antonio, an outcome that will have analysts puzzling for some time in an increasingly majority Hispanic city. Ultimately, what they will conclude is San Antonio is two cities. The general population is minority-majority, largely Hispanic. The city’s voting population, however, is Anglo-dominant, older and more politically conservative than the general population.
With all votes counted, Taylor defeated Van de Putte 50,659-47,328, a 3,331 vote margin and good enough for a 51.70%-48.30% win, a 3.4% difference.
Even with data pointing to a win for Taylor, some long-established voices are still in a bit of shock, as the Texas Tribune goes on to try to read the tea leaves around this (un)expected result, saying that this election should be a “wake-up call” to Democrats across the state.
It’s probably not that severe, as anything can happen in a relatively low-turnout election. But for the Van de Putte camp, this contest should hopefully provide clues to just why the voter apathy is so prevalent across the state of Texas, and in particular among minority communities. Studies by Voto Latino have shown that even among other minority groups, Hispanics have historically voted at lower proportions than the African-American community, citing the lack of precedent that exists in a community of more first generation and much younger potential voters. Given that this run-off was historic for Texas with two female minorities facing off for the first time, it will be very interesting to compare demographic trends among the voters when those results are available. Again, it’s worth noting that this was a light turnout election, and there were many other motivations to vote for or against a particular candidate besides topical identifiers (race, gender, etc.)
Whatever the case, it is Ivy Taylor who crossed the finish line, and who will preside over San Antonio City Hall. Congratulations to the new Mayor.
Off the Kuff has more.