A candidate running for mayor of Robstown will have to spend Election Day in the Nueces County Jail for failing to appear at a scheduled court date as part of the terms of his probation.

Jose Cruz Gonzalez, 33, was sentenced April 7 in the 28th District Court of Judge Nanette Hasette to 45 days in the county jail and had his probation extended one full year. Gonzalez was arrested March 9 by Robstown police just hours after he had filed for a place on the May 9 ballot.

Gonzalez was ordered to surrender to authorities on Tuesday to begin his sentence.

On Monday, Gonzalez maintained that he felt his arrest was politically motivated, saying he still finds it strange to have been arrested so soon after filing. Police Chief Johnny Brown and city officials have denied Gonzalez's claims.

Gonzalez said he did not expect all of the events that have transpired since he decided to run for public office, adding that he is not really concerned about his reputation. Instead, he said, he worried about what effect all of the publicity is having on his daughter.

"Honestly, these pathetic little people feel they're hurting me, but the only one they're hurting is my daughter," Gonzalez said.

Despite the controversy surrounding his candidacy, Gonzalez said he still feels optimistic about his chances in the race, adding that he has spoken with supporters who believe in his message for change for the city.

"I feel I have a very good chance of winning, still," he said. "I feel I've done a very good job of putting a spotlight on this race, not just here, but in (Corpus Christi), and we'll just see where it leads."

Still, even if the race is unsuccessful, Gonzalez said he has no plans to back down from his desire to serve the residents of Robstown in public office. He even plans to run for mayor again in two years if he doesn't win, he added.

"I'm going to come back stronger than ever," Gonzalez said.