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RUNOFF ELECTION: Ron Nirenberg re-elected as San Antonio mayor; three new council members win seats

A brawling race for mayor finally concludes with a narrow runoff victory for incumbent Ron Nirenberg over Councilman Greg Brockhouse.

Incumbent San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg is the winner in Saturday's mayoral race runoff and has been re-elected to serve a second term.

Nirenberg had 51.56 percent of the votes and District 6 Councilman Greg Brockhouse had 48.44 percent following the count of early votes, a 2,775 vote advantage for the incumbent mayor.

Election Day votes were trending toward Brockhouse for most of the night, with the councilman taking about 52 percent of the votes actually cast on Election Day, cutting into Nirenberg's early lead.

However, this surge ended late in the evening, with Nirenberg closing the Election Day gap to just 100 votes, and his overall lead stayed at 2,675 votes, sealing his victory.

Nirenberg fell just 1,360 votes short of winning re-election outright in the first round of voting May 4. Instead, he and Brockhouse have slugged it out for the past five weeks to decide who would lead the city for the next two years.

Nirenberg had 48.66 percent of the votes in early May, just short of the 50 percent needed for victory. Brockhouse was in second place with 45.57 percent of the ballots cast in a field of nine candidates.

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Nirenberg and Brockhouse had faced off in several debates this spring to lay out the differences between them.

Nirenberg ran on his record after one term as the city's mayor, emphasizing his work on transportation, affordable housing and long-term planning. He also criticized Brockhouse as being too close to the public safety unions and unable to drive policy as a council member.

Nirenberg's campaign also cited two incidents of domestic violence allegations as a sign that Brockhouse would not be a good fit to lead the city. The Brockhouse campaign and the councilman's wife denied that any domestic violence occurred.

Brockhouse came into the campaign with strong support from the city's firefighters union and had spent time on council pushing for the city to renew negotiations with the union over its contract.

His campaign seized on a council vote earlier this year to deny an airport restaurant contract to Chick-fil-A as an indictment on Nirenberg, saying the mayor and council members who voted to block Chick-fil-A were denying the fast-food chain's owners' rights to religious freedom.

Nirenberg said he voted against Chick-fil-A for economic reasons, saying the chain is not open on Sundays, a prime travel day in the airport.

Henry Cisneros, former San Antonio mayor and U.S. secretary of housing and urban development, analyzed the race and the factors that shaped the outcome. 

More stories on the San Antonio mayoral election: 

City Council Runoffs

District 2: Jada L. Andrews-Sullivan defeated Keith Toney, 52.1 percent to 47.9 percent. 

District 4: Adriana Rocha Garcia took a commanding victory over Johnny Arredondo, 72.5 percent to 27.5 percent.

District 6: Melissa Cabello Havrda had a comfortable win over Andy Greene, 57.0 percent to 43.0 percent.

Incumbents previously elected: Roberto Trevino (D1), Rebecca Viagran (D3), Shirley Gonzales (D5), Ana Sandoval (D7), Manny Pelaez (D8), John Courage (D9) and Clayton Perry (D10) all rode their incumbency to victories in their council election races on May 4.

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