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Election 2022: Peter Sakai victorious over Trish DeBerry in Bexar County judge race

Sakai is set to become the first new leader of the Bexar County Commissioners Court since 2001.

SAN ANTONIO — Democrat Peter Sakai rode an early-vote advantage to victory in the Bexar County judge race, defeating Republican Trish DeBerry Tuesday night. Come Jan. 1, he will be the first new leader of the Bexar County Commissioners Court since Nelson Wolff won the seat in 2000.  

With all polling sites reporting Election Day results, the longtime children's court judge collected 57% of the vote, compared to 39% for DeBerry, who vacated her county commissioner seat last winter to run. Libertarian Edgar Coyle collected 3% of the vote. 

Around 8:25 p.m., DeBerry spoke to supporters and all but explicitly conceded the race. 

Taking the stage at his watch party around 8:40 p.m., Sakai declared: "What a wonderful night. What a wonderful victory!"

He went on to thank his family and campaign team for their support, and promised to work on initiatives responding to Bexar County's "unprecedented growth."

Results for Sakai, DeBerry and Coyle below. 

Who is Trish DeBerry?

Setting her sights on bigger goals, DeBerry forfeited her seat on the Bexar County Commissioners Court last December as she jumpstarted her campaign to lead it. Speaking to KENS 5 earlier this year, she indicated her confidence that the county was ready for a different kind of leadership. 

"As we look at the immigration problem that is out of control, gas prices are at an all-time high, then we look at inflation... I think people are sick and tired of what is going on," she said back in February. "I think that bodes well for Republicans."

DeBerry and Sakai are both looking to succeed Nelson Wolff, who is retiring after two decades in the seat.

Three primary issues loom above the rest  for DeBerry: rising property taxes, county jail infrastructure and the crisis of domestic violence. She said she plans to advocate for reform of the property-tax appraisal process, and indicated a culture change is needed at the Bexar County jail. 

DeBerry says she believes her "pragmatic business skillset" will carry her to victory. 

"I asked some very tough questions (as a county commissioner) to make sure we were representing the taxpayers in the way we need to represent them," she said. "Looking for solutions—at the end of the day, that is the kind of leadership that people want in the county judge's seat."

RELATED: Election 2022 | After surrendering commissioners court seat, Trish DeBerry sets sights on bigger goals

Who is Peter Sakai?

Best known for advocating for children from the bench for a quarter of a century in Bexar County, Sakai is running to become a judge of a different sort. 

Speaking to KENS 5 in February, Sakai said he aspires to serve as a trusted bridge for the community should he win. 

"We, as a community, need to come together," Sakai said earlier this year. "It's going to require experienced leadership; people that know how to put things together and how to bring people together."

Since 1995 he has worked to establish family drug and early childhood courts in San Antonio, initiatives which have garnered recognition as model systems across Texas and the country. 

"It's what's kept me going," saidSakai, who has so thoroughly intertwined his life's work with his life that one particularly tough case in the early 2000s forced him to sit and "really figure out if I really wanted to be a judge."

Sakai told KENS 5 that, if chosen to lead the county, he'll continue to bring innovative solutions to improve the court system. Specifically, he's targeting the ripple effects the courts have across jails.

He also points to housing scarcity, domestic violence and an improved school-to-workforce pipeline as initiatives he'd like to address. And when it comes to the economy, Sakai said Bexar County needs to think big when deciding how to use federal funds from the Build Back Better plan. 

"Homelessness is still a chronic issue. What we need to do is to create an opportunity so people can have affordable housing," he said.

RELATED: Election 2022 | Longtime children's advocate Peter Sakai on why he's running for Bexar County judge

Who is Edgar Coyle?

A former New Mexican who works as a carpenter by trade, Coyle says he decided to run for Bexar County judge "after seeing the detrimental impact of the (pandemic-era) lockdowns, handed down by local government."

Among his priorities, Coyle emphasizes repealing all COVID-era policies enacted by county leaders, abolishing property taxes and ending the drug war in Bexar County. He also says he would "take a hard look" at emergency powers granted to local authorities while holding them accountable. 

County Commissioner seats also up for grabs

Because DeBerry vacated her seat as Precinct 3 commissioner to run for Bexar County judge, there was an open seat voters were charged with filling this election cycle. They decided on Republican Grant Moody, a U.S. Marines veteran, who defeated Democrat and business owner Susan Korbel after collecting 54% of the vote. 


Over in Precinct 4, Democrat Tommy Calvert fended off Larry Ricketts for another term on the commissioners court. Both men ran unopposed in the March primaries. 

A native east-sider, Calvert has represented Precinct 4 since 2015, becoming the youngest and first Black representative on the Bexar County Commissioners Court. He has prioritized helping small businesses and raising the minimum wage of country employees, and says the most urgent issues for the county are confronting climate change and providing new housing security options. 


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