Thinking About Running for Council? A Look Back at Past Elections…

Dilley City Council chambers August 18, 2008. Photo by: Jose Asuncion

As Dilley city council candidate filing opens on Wednesday January 17th, 2018, here’s a look back at the recent history of Dilley elections, from 1999-2017:

May 1st, 1999
Mayor Mary Ann Obregon wins re-election
Councilwoman Morelsa M. Aranda wins
Councilman Rudy Alvarez wins re-election

May 6th, 2000
Election cancelled due to lack of candidates
Jesse Patterson retains city council seat
JJ Garcia and Noel Perez appointed to seats vacated by Soveida Obregon and Don Jean Moffett

The make-up of Dilley’s city council heading into 2001 is:
Mayor Mary Ann Obregon; Jesse Patterson; JJ Garcia; Noel Perez; Morelsa M. Aranda; Rudy Alvarez.

Noel Perez resigns on January 9th, 2001.

May 5th, 2001
Election cancelled due to lack of candidates
Mayor Mary Ann Obregon retains seat
Rudy Alvarez retains seat
Morelsa M. Aranda retains seat
Ray Aranda takes office

Michael Medrano is appointed to city council on August 14, 2001, after Jesse Patterson’s July 10th, 2001 resignation.

May 4th, 2002
City Council (3 seats)
*Ray Aranda 366
*JJ Garcia 328
*Michael Medrano 297
Noel Perez 126

May 3rd, 2003
*Manuel Garcia 442
Mary Ann Obregon 258
“G” Herrera 24
City Council (two seats)
*Esther Garcia Davalos 362
*Morelsa M. Aranda 262
Rudy Alvarez 251
Rudy Martinez 224

May 15th, 2004
City Council (3 seats)
*Ray Aranda 492
*Rudy Alvarez 427
*Esmeralda Cano 396
Soraida Fonseca Lopez 343
Rene Rodriguez 321
Jo Ann Rodriguez 296
Rudy Martinez 112
Outgoing council members Juan Jose Garcia and Michael Medrano chose not to seek re-election

May 7th, 2005
*Rusty Foster 331
Manuel Garcia 165
City Council (2 seats)
*Morelsa M. Aranda 269
*Esther Garcia Davalos 221
Noel Perez 214
Mark Sanders 95

May 13th, 2006
City Council (3 seats)
*Ray Aranda 319
*Rudy Alvarez 267
*Esmeralda Cano 241
Manuel Garcia 191
Tanya Davila 151
Alicia Machado 143 (write-in)

May 12th, 2007
*Rusty Foster 65
Jose Manuel Garcia 1 (write in)
City Council (2 seats)
*Esther Garcia Davalos 64
*Morelsa M. Aranda 61
Juan JC Molina 30

May 10th, 2008
Council (3 seats)
*Ray Aranda 366
*Manuel Garcia 306
*Rudy Alvarez 300
Esmeralda Cano 291
Alicia Machado 237
Gerardo “G” Herrera 199
Jose Aquiles Aranda 117

August 26, 2008, Dilley hires city attorney Bobby Maldonado.

May 9th, 2009
*Mary Ann Obregon 367
Rusty Foster 332
City Council (2 Seats)
*Joanna Olivarez Diaz 328
*Esther Garcia Davalos 396
Morelsa M. Aranda 304
Though he did not run in the 2009 municipal election, JJ Rivera was appointed to Manuel Garcia’s vacated seat. On the same 2009 election day, Rivera was a candidate for Dilley ISD and loss a close race to Kay Smith 463-424.

June 9th, 2009, one month after Mary Ann Obregon returns to the Mayor’s office, the city council discusses changes to the election rules. Ordinance 09-08-11, passed on August 11, 2009, establishes council places instead of at-large seats. Challengers now must run for a particular council seat, instead of the candidates with the most votes winning a spot on the council. 

Rudy Alvarez resigns on February 9th, 2010 to take Frio County Auditor position.

May 8th, 2010
City Council (3 seats)
Place 3
*Soraida Fonseca Lopez 377
Norberto Rodriguez 368
Place 4
*Morelsa M. Aranda 389
JJ Rivera 363
Place 5
Ray Aranda unopposed

May 14th, 2011
Election cancelled due to lack of challengers

May 12th, 2012
City Council (3 seats)
Place 3
*Esmeralda Cano 124
Joe Garcia 103
Soraida Lopez 45
Sabino Mena Jr 32
Place 4
*Morelsa M. Aranda 162
JJ Rivera 144
Place 5
Ray Aranda unopposed

May 11th, 2013
Mary Ann Obregon unopposed
City Council
Place 1
*Joanna Olivarez Diaz 116
Mateo Zuniga Jr 114
Place 2
Esther Garcia Davalos unopposed

May 10th, 2014
Election cancelled due to lack of challengers

May 9th, 2015
Election cancelled due to lack of challengers

May 7th, 2016
Place 3
Esmeralda Cano unopposed
Place 4
Morelsa M. Aranda unopposed
Place 5
*Ray Aranda 158
Gilbert Ortiz 90

May 6th, 2017
*Mary Ann Obregon 185
Gilbert Ortiz 167
Oney Ramirez 82
Council Place 1
*Sabino Mena Jr. 245
Joanna Olivarez 181
Council Place 2
*Gilbert Villanueva Eguia 237
Esther Garcia Davalos 191
This is the first election with a challenger for every open seat since the city council changed local election rules in 2009.
Note: 2017 vote totals from recount

**Vote totals from Frio-Nueces Current unless otherwise indicated.

-written by Jose Asuncion. 
Jose received an MFA from University of Southern California in 2008, a BA from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2003, and currently lives in Dilley, TX, home of his grandparents.