June 08, 2005
Hardberger wins in a close one

Got a minute at a borrowed computer, so now's a good time to note that Phil Hardberger is the newly elected Mayor of San Antonio.

Retired Judge Phil Hardberger, a City Hall outsider with a storied past but no municipal government experience, clung to an ever-shrinking lead over foe Julián Castro on Tuesday and ended the night with a victory in one of the tightest mayoral races in recent history.

In unofficial returns, Hardberger outdistanced Castro by about 3,800 votes out of about 130,000 cast.

That was about 15,000 more than the votes cast in the May 7 regular election.


"It is the beginning of a new day for San Antonio and there are so many things that we can do," said a jubilant Hardberger, donned in a double-breasted suit and addressing a large crowd of supporters at his Sunset Station election party just after midnight and right after receiving Castro's concession call.

"We have to stop the deconstruction and start the construction, and we'll start that right now," he said. "We will make a great, great San Antonio."

Castro, whose loss signals the end of his City Council career — at least for the moment — ran a strong grass-roots campaign but in the end couldn't overcome Hardberger's support, money and votes.

"Tonight we need to stand united behind Judge Hardberger as he becomes mayor, united as a city, united behind a common vision for progress, for economic development and growth, for neighborhoods that everybody can be proud to live in," Castro said at his campaign headquarters, flanked by his twin brother, Joaquin, and dozens of supporters.

"This just wasn't our time, but it will be someday," said Castro, 30, who is the outgoing District 7 city councilman.

As I said before, I don't think this is more than a bump on the road for Julian Castro. He'll have to find something good to do for the next couple of years, and he'll have to demonstrate that he's gained some age-earned wisdom the next time he appears, but neither of those should be at all difficult to do. And who knows, he may well already be the frontrunner to replace Mayor Hardberger in 2009.

Here's reaction from The Jeffersonian and Matt. The Red State liveblogged it to the wire. Get some rest now, y'all.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 08, 2005 to Election 2005 | TrackBack