After months of decidedly contentious campaign activity, Sutton County voters went to the County Annex Building Saturday, May 5, 2018, to cast their ballots to choose candidates for hospital district and city elections.

Mark Edwards, Mary Humphrey and Noemi Samaniego pulled out the winning votes to become the next hospital board members according to Saturday’s final poll results.

Edwards challenged long-standing hospital board member Lenora Pool in representing Precinct 2. Saturday’s final count determined Edwards the winner by 69 votes over Pool.

“I am relieved,” Edwards said. “It is a privilege to be able to serve in this role. I am optimistic about the future of our hospital and I am looking forward to working with the other board members, the administration, and the staff to provide the best healthcare possible for our community.”

Edwards spent the earlier part of the day celebrating his birthday with family and friends before supporters showed up to congratulate him on his election victory.

Although she will no longer serve on the board, Pool said she intends to continue looking out for her hometown community.

“The great thing about living in America is that our citizens still have the right to vote. The polls probably had the biggest turn out in the history of Sutton County. Hopefully, people will continue to stand up for what they believe,” Pool said. “My personal belief is our hospital and staff are on the right track. They are willing to go the extra mile and hopefully the future will bring the community back together and embrace our future for Sonora. We have services right here that most rural communities have lost along the way.”

Of the four candidates vying for an At-Large position, Samaniego and Humphrey had the most votes over challengers Sharon Holman and Randy Knight.

John Henry Strauch was re-elected in an unchallenged race to keep his current position as representative of Precinct 4.

In the city election, Norm Rousselot was re-elected for another term as council member Ward 1.

In addition, Juanita Gomez squeaked out the win for council member Ward 2 by 4 points over current council member Juanita Barrera and 24 points over former council member Todd Munn.

Happy to be elected Gomez said she is in favor of looking for ways to balance budget issues, quality service and better communication between the residents and council members.

“I feel that the Council needs to utilize cost cutting measures, trim expenses while maintaining the same quality of service,” Gomez said. “The City needs to take a more active role in communication with the citizens and be totally transparent, while maintaining excellent customer service.”

Constituents re-elected Wanda Shurley as Mayor of Sonora and they decided in favor of Proposition 1 reauthorizing the city sales and use tax.
“I am looking forward to serving the citizens of Sonora for two more years,” Shurley said. “I feel we’re on the right track with several new businesses recently opening and the new Loves Travel Center under construction which will bring 31-50 new jobs to Sonora. I hope everyone knows they can contact me or their councilmen for answers to any questions or concerns.”

This year’s local elections drew a record number of early voters compared to past local elections. A total of 808 ballots were cast prior to May 5, Election Day.

Of the two elections, the campaigns for hospital district board members gained the most attention throughout the past few months.

Candidates as well as their supporters were active from the beginning of the race until the day of the election, reaching out to people in the community in hopes of securing enough votes for a win.

Aside from blanketing the town with campaign propaganda, contenders and followers alike went door to door and participated in rallies to make themselves known to residents in Sonora.

In addition, transportation to and from the poll was also provided to voters in need to encourage voting and ensure every eligible voter could cast their ballot.

All of their hard work was realized following Saturday’s final vote count.

Of the total 2,491 registered voters in Sutton County, a total of 1,016 turned out to vote demonstrating a forty percent total voter turnout for the May 5, 2018 local hospital and city election.

Election Results:
Wanda Shurley, 452
Council Member Ward 1
Lionel C. Cervantez, Jr., 173
Norm Rousselot, 252
Council Member Ward 2
Juanita Gomez, 76
Juanita Barrera, 72
Todd Munn, 52
Proposition 1
FOR, 457
Against, 170
Hospital Board Precinct 2
Mark Edwards, 194
Lenora Pool, 125
Hospital Board Precinct 4
John Henry Strauch, 127
Hospital Board At-Large
Sharon Holman, 431
Mary Humphrey, 502
Randy Knight, 462
Noemi Samaniego, 522