Taylor wins SA Mayor runoff

And it’s over.

Mayor Ivy Taylor

Interim San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor claimed victory Saturday night, defeating Leticia Van de Putte for a full term in the mayor’s job and dealing the former state senator a tough loss in a city central to her long career in public service.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Taylor beat Van de Putte 51.7 percent to 48.3 percent, according to unofficial returns.

The result was set to be historic either way: Taylor is on the cusp of becoming the first black mayor elected to the position. Van de Putte would have been the first Hispanic woman to hold the job.

Declaring victory at her election night party, Taylor asked supporters if they realized they had “defeated a political machine.” Yet she struck a conciliatory tone as she turned her attention to San Antonio’s future.

“I will be working with everyone throughout our city,” Taylor said. “It’s time for us to turn the page. It’s time to get back to work.”

Meanwhile, at her campaign headquarters, Van de Putte told supporters their “hearts may be slightly broken” but expressed gratitude for hearing their concerns as she campaigned.

“I’m in love with San Antonio all over again,” she said.

As expected, Taylor easily won the early vote, beating Van de Putte by about five percentage points among the more than 65,000 early ballots cast. Van de Putte’s campaign was counting on her voters to flood the polls on Election Day, but she never closed the gap, consistently trailing Taylor by a few points throughout the night.

The Rivard Report adds some details.

With all voted counted, Taylor defeated Van de Putte 50,659-47,328, a 3,331 vote margin and good enough for a 51.70%-48.30% win, a 3.4% difference.

Taylor showed stronger on Election Day than predicted by Van de Putte supporters, who expected to lose the early vote convincingly and then make up the difference with Saturday’s turnout. Instead, Taylor won the early vote by less than some expected, but stayed strong on Election Day.

In the end, only 96,277 people, 14.5% of the city’s 660,983 registered voters, went to the polls. Early voting over eight days drew 65,091 voters, more than 67% of the total vote, while 31,136 voted Saturday. Van de Putte supporters had hoped for a turnout of 40,000 voters on Saturday.

Taylor won 34,070 votes, or 52.51% of the early vote, while Van de Putte won 30,813 votes, or 47.49%.

If you do the math, or if you scroll down the page to the totals from the Bexar County elections admin, you see that Taylor won on Election Day as well, though only by 74 votes. It’s still a solid win for her. Taylor was not my preference, but the people have spoken. Congratulations and best of luck to Mayor Ivy Taylor. The Current has more.

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