Downtown businessman Ruben Becerra and active local resident Sam Brannon have entered the race for San Marcos mayor.
Becerra filed paperwork Tuesday to officially run in the Nov. 8 election. Brannon joined the race Wednesday morning.
Becerra said he’s a political moderate who is well positioned to build consensus among the factions that perennially fight for control of City Hall.
The newest mayoral candidate owns Gil’s Broiler, Manske Roll Bakery and Dixie Cream Artisan Donuts, which have operated for decades in the Central Business District. Becerra also owns Specialized Medicals Solutions, a San Antonio based medical equipment supplier.
Becerra has served on the city’s planning and zoning commission and serves as board president of the Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos.
“It seems like we’re constantly swinging that pendulum — hard left, hard right, hard left, hard right — and people are getting knocked around with it,” Becerra said. “I’m kind of tired of the idea that it’s all or nothing with people around here. I really am interested in not doing business as usual. I really am interested in a higher-spirited, community-oriented brand of politics.
Brannon graduated from the University of Texas with a BBA in finance. He has been very active in many local political organizations and organized the Fluoride Free San Marcos movement that helped pass Proposition 1 last November. Brannon was on the Board of Directors at San Marcos Kiwanis from 2013 to 2015.
Brannon said he decided to run for mayor with hopes of changing the culture at City Hall.
“The City of San Marcos seems to have lost respect for its citizens,” Brannon said. “Too often we are treated as adversaries or obstacles to the urgent business of the day, or to outside interests. As Mayor, I intend to lead a culture change in how this political subdivision views its residents and tax payers, and how we engage to define and face our challenges as we grow.”
“We have a cultural problem at the city that … works against the people that live in this town, university included,” Brannon said.
Brannon said he hopes that city managers think differently about how policies affect residents.
“Most people don’t know that for the past five years, the City of San Marcos has increased the property taxes on the people that live here,” Brannon said. “It doesn’t have to be that way. You have the ability to leave everybody’s taxes next year just as they are this year.”
Brannon said city officials are making it almost impossible for a lot of people to live in Sam Marcos due to the increased cost. Needed tax revenue for growth can come from new properties on the tax roll, Brannon said. He plans to implement a 15 day agenda notice instead of the 72 hour agenda notice currently in place.
“My main goal is to have a city that the first thought before they do anything is to think about its impact on the people that live here today,” Brannon said.
Councilman John Thomaides, Place 3, announced his candidacy for mayor in late July. Thomaides has served on the city council since 2003 and currently acts as Mayor Pro Tem.
Cherif Gacis, member of the city’s Veteran Affairs Advisory Committee and Texas State alumnus, is also running for mayor.