There will be a run-off election for Precinct 5 constable, but it was unknown this week which two Democratic contenders will be on the run-off ballot since a recount is expected.
Five Democrats vied for Precinct 5 constable in light of the pending retirement of Constable Mike Roldan in December.
But none of the five Democrats were able to gather more than 50 percent of the votes, meaning the top two finishers will take part in the April 8 countywide run-off election. The run-off will also include races for Democratic Party chair and Precinct 3 constable in Bishop. A Republican Party run-off isn't necessary.
Precinct 5 chief deputy constable Frank Flores III won 1,379 of the 4,179 votes cast in the Precinct 5 constable's race, or 33 percent.
Seale Junior High School truancy officer Dionicio "Don" Ysassi won 960 of the votes cast, or 23 percent.
Robstown Police Department Lt. Gilbert Gomez won 934 of the votes, or 22 percent.
Corpus Christi deputy marshal and private investigator Gerardo "Gerald" Ochoa finished in fourth place with 603 votes, or 14.4 percent, while Robstown businessman Rolando Martinez received 303 votes, or 7 percent.
As a result, Flores is tentatively scheduled to face Ysassi in the April 8 run-off. Whoever wins the run-off will likely be Roldan's successor since no Republican filed for Precinct 5 constable, although Independents have until May to file.
However, Gomez told the Record Star he would request a recount this week since the margin between himself and Ysassi was only 26 votes.
"I am going to ask for a recount," Gomez said Monday. "I will be doing that after I talk to supporters and people who want me to do so. I decided to do it for that reason. It's not disrespect to any other candidate, but it's something that has to be done."
The deadline for Gomez or any other candidate to file for a recount is 2 p.m. Friday, the day after the official canvassing of election results at 6 p.m. today by the county executive committee, said Susan Reeves, elections administrator for the Nueces County Democratic Party.
The recount fee has to be paid in advance and the results of the recount should be known by next week, Reeves said.
The recount will involve re-tabulating Election Day counts from all Precinct 5 constable precincts, re-tabulating the early vote count, and reviewing mail-in ballots. A representative of Gomez's campaign is allowed to observe the process, Reeves said.
"We're going to move very quickly because we have a run-off April 8 and we have to prepare for that," she said. "The e-slates must be re-programmed for the run-off election."
Gomez said he's pursuing a recount at the urging of his supporters.
"I have mixed feelings about it," he explained. "I don't want to show any disrespect to any of the other candidates, that's one thing, but at the same time I understand my supporters and I will not let them down. They are the ones that worked so hard in this election for me and I feel I owe that to them and the people that supported me and the people that voted for me in the election."
Gomez said he hoped Ysassi, who Gomez might potentially overcome for the run-off, would understand.
"I would hope he would understand that because the race was so close, that that's why my supporters would want to do that," Gomez said. "If it was the other way around, his supporters might want to do that also."
In the heated race for Justice of the Peace 5-1, incumbent Judge Robert "Bobby" Gonzalez rolled to an easy win March 4 over challenger Lorenzo Rojas in the Democratic primary.
Gonzalez garnered 2,895 of the 4,249 votes cast, or 68 percent.
Rojas received 1,354 of the 4,249 votes, or 32 percent.
Gonzalez, whose four-year term expires at the end of the year, will likely be sworn into a third term in January since no Republican filed for the position by the Jan. 1 deadline. Independents have until May to file.
Gonzalez, 48, and Rojas, 71, faced each other for justice of the peace in 1996, when Rojas won. Rojas was the Precinct 5-1 justice of the peace for 16 years prior to Gonzalez, beginning in 1993.