Montoya wins Mercedes mayoral election

1 year 9 months 5 days ago Tuesday, November 03 2020 Nov 3, 2020 November 03, 2020 8:26 PM November 03, 2020 in News - Local

Mercedes voters picked a new mayor on Tuesday.

Oscar D. Montoya, a lifelong resident of Mercedes who works at the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office, defeated Israel Coronado, a community activist, on Tuesday night.

Montoya won 54% of 4,588 ballots cast, according to preliminary results published Tuesday by the Hidalgo County Elections Department.

The race pitted Montoya, a division chief at the Sheriff's Office, against Coronado, a community activist who challenged the status quo in Mercedes.

Montoya touted his family's long history in Mercedes and experience at the Sheriff's Office throughout the campaign.

"As a lifelong resident of Mercedes, I have seen the good times and the struggles," Montoya wrote in a campaign ad posted on Facebook. "Now more than ever Mercedes needs a leader who will work together with the rest of the City commission by bringing unity for our residents."

Montoya received more than $28,000 in donations from Feb. 7 to Oct. 24, according to campaign finance reports filed with the city.

Coronado pledged to shake up City Hall.

He ran a low-budget campaign, soliciting donations on PayPal and collecting nearly $1,900 during a barbecue fundraiser, according to campaign finance reports filed with the city.

"For those who question why I wanted to run for Mayor... I do not want to run...I had to," Coronado wrote on his campaign website. "I had to step in this race because the needs for our community were just too many. It is this sense of duty that drives this campaign. A duty that long has been forgotten by past leaders who have failed us and has sparked the desire to build A New Mercedes."

Coronado frequently clashed with the City Commission. At one point, the Mercedes Police Department arrested Coronado and four other people accused of disrupting a city meeting — questionable charges that prompted an uproar.

The Hidalgo County District Attorney's Office declined to accept the case against Coronado.

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