Decision 2018: Laguna Madre voters cast ballots in municipal, water district elections

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

With the polls now closed, preliminary results are being reported in elections across the Laguna Madre region. Aside from national and state elections, voters also cast their ballots in local races, which included elections for members of the South Padre Island City Council, the Laguna Madre Water District Board of Directors and three propositions in a Port Isabel bond election. All election results are unofficial until the votes are canvassed by their respective government entities.

Over 1,000 voters flocked to South Padre Island City Hall to cast their ballots for candidates vying for three seats on the City Council. Running unopposed to fill Place 3 is Joe Ricco. Ricco will take the remainder of the unexpired term left vacant by the resignation of Ron Pitcock.

Meanwhile, two Island businessmen battled for Place 2: Brandy Buntin and Kerry Schwartz. Schwartz won the race with a total of 625 votes, or 62 percent.  Buntin garnered 383 votes for 37.99 percent.

Schwarz won 430 votes to Buntin’s 275 during early voting.

Place 5 saw a three-way race between incumbent Paul Munarriz and two political newcomers: retiree Thomas Bainter and realtor Eva Jean Dalton.

Eva Jean Dalton won the race for Place 5 with 52.21 percent — or 531— of the votes.

Munarriz and Bainter won 415 and 71 votes, respectively.

In Port Isabel, voters were asked to decide on three propositions as part of a special bond election. The election came after months of deliberation by a specially formed Capital Projects Committee, which spent the summer mulling over where the City’s infrastructure needed improvement.

If all three propositions passed, the City would be authorized to issue up to $5.95 million in bonds for improvements to streets, storm drains, public buildings, and selected parks and recreation spaces.

In Port Isabel, too, over 1,000 voters cast ballots in the special election — including 755 in early voting.

All three propositions passed.

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