SA voters look beyond race, ethnicity during elections

The race for mayor is now down to two candidates.For a city that's predominantly Hispanic, ethnicity did not appear to be a concern for voters.

SAN ANTONIO - The race for mayor is now down to two candidates.

For a city that's predominantly Hispanic, race and ethnicity did not appear to be a big concern for voters.

“I think it shows our city embraces diversity in ways other cities don’t,” Dr. Richard Lewis said.

Lewis is a sociology professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He said considering the Alamo City is about 63 percent Hispanic, it does not appear to be a big deal for voters that a Latino will not be serving as mayor.

“I think you’re going to have more race base voting in many other cities. You don’t find that here. I think you find candidates that are able to attract people across race. That makes us unique,” Lewis said.

Lewis said one reason for that, is San Antonians simply look beyond race, or ethnicity and focus more on qualifications. Which is why he also thinks the runoff will be very tight since both candidates are more than qualified.

“I think the runoff is going to be very close. I wouldn't call it a toss-up and I’m not a prognosticator, but I think it’s going to be a close runoff.” Lewis said.

And despite a Hispanic not serving as Mayor, Lewis points to the rest of city council and candidates up for election. He noted there’s no shortage of diversity there.

“If you take away the Mayor’s race and you look at the city council races, you see just unbelievable races across those 10 particular places,” Lewis said.

San Antonio has had its share of Hispanic mayors in the past. Julian Castro being the most recent. And mayor Ivy Taylor made history becoming the first black mayor of San Antonio. 

The runoff is Saturday, June 10th.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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