If Castro Departs, City Council Would Fill Mayor's Seat From Within

May 20, 2014

Mayor Julián Castro spoke to members of the San Antonio media Monday after news spread that he could be tapped for HUD secretary in President Obama's administration.
Mayor Julián Castro spoke to members of the San Antonio media Monday after news spread that he could be tapped for HUD secretary in President Obama's administration.
Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News

If San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro leaves his position for a post in President Barack Obama's cabinet, city council will then select an interim successor from one of their own.

Will it be someone with the most experience? Could it be someone who has a lot of background with policy?

The answer may include a variety of those qualifications. But whatever they are, it won't matter much to residents.

Political consultant Kelton Morgan said the members will work that out.

"There's probably a lot of jockeying behind the scenes and a lot of promises being made and a lot of one-on-one efforts to convince fellow council members being made," he said. "And then they sit around their table in the council chambers and they vote."

According to our checks with the individual council members, those who have expressed interest in the seat include District 2's Ivy Taylor, District 7's Cris Medina, Shirley Gonzales in District 5, Ray Lopez in District 6, Ron Nirenberg in District 8 and Mike Gallagher in District 10.

"Probably most of my colleagues want it," Gallagher said by phone. He said he absolutely would too.

Taylor said she expected Castro would leave eventually, but thought he'd be around for another election at least.

"I suspected that the mayor might not complete his next term, but I thought that he would be around to run in 2015," Taylor said.

Morgan thinks the top candidates may be Lopez, District 1's Diego Bernal if he wants it, and Nirenberg, who said this next year shouldn't be considered an interim position because there's a lot to work on. 

"I think what we need to be focused on is issues that matter: water security, long-term transportation, job growth. All those things are what's on the minds of people in my district and throughout the city," Nirenberg said.

Bernal hasn't said he's interested, but has put on Facebook and Twitter that he believes the interim mayor should not run in 2015. That may be an indication that he'll hold off from seeking his colleagues support and opt for voters to elect him instead.

Rebecca Viagran said she is not interested because she wants to continue serving the South Side's District 3.

District 4 Councilman Rey Saldana and District 9 Councilman Joe Krier have not returned our calls about their interest for the mayoral spot.