The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Super Tuesday voters choose favorite candidate in big, small races

From the county tax assessor collector race to the presidential primaries, voters from San Antonio, Bexar County and surrounding areas showed up to the polls and chose their favorite candidates in the Democrat or Republican parties on Super Tuesday. 

Depending on the race, winners in this election will move on to run-offs, go into office or make it to the general elections in November. 

Reporters for the Mesquite went to several polling centers, including one at the Texas A&M University-San Antonio Mays Center, and took the temperature of voters across the city and surrounding counties.

Early birds cast ballots before work: 7-8 a.m.

Luis Rodriguez, a 38-year-old HVAC technician, voted at the Bexar County Elections Department on South Frio Street. 

“I have to be at work by 8 a.m.,” Rodriguez said, “but thankful I work just five minutes up the road from here.”

Rodriguez said he looks forward to using his right to vote to try to make a difference for his children, who are too young to vote.

“I am ready for us to have Trump back in office and have him start changing things where he left off on back in 2021,” he said. 

Laura Lillie, a 45-year-old paralegal who said she is a Republican, came out to vote at 7:45 a.m. at the Lion’s Field Adult and Senior Center. 

“It’s my constitutional right,” Lillie said of voting. “I want to make sure there’s people in office that I support.”

Lisa Fox, a worker at the Toyota motor manufacturing plant, said she woke up early so she could vote at Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s Mays Center, which is about 5 miles north of the plant.

“Every election is important to me,” Fox said. “It’s 2020 every election; even the school board ones are important.”

Fox said although many of her co-workers often feel like the election is predetermined, she encourages them to get out the vote. 

“I changed my mind about voting when my son was bullied at Alamo Heights. I saw the ripple effect of not voting in the school members,” Fox said.

Sal Chavez, a 60-year-old oilfield worker, voted at the Jourdanton Community Center in Atascosa County. 

Chavez said the president’s race is more important and he wants to make sure that the people he believes in step into office. 

“I voted for Trump,” he said. “Trump is more tough on decisions that need to be made versus Biden. Biden is more lenient.”

Michael Cuellar, a Bexar County employee, voted at Great Northwest Library the morning of March 5, 2024. Photo by Spring De La Garza

Michael Cuellar, a 60-year-old Bexar County employee who lives on the far West Side, said he was grateful to get time off from work and exercise his right to vote at Great Northwest Library.

“I think voting has a lot to do with integrity, and this is my first time voting, which means a lot,” said Cuellar, who attended Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

Voters break from lunch to choose party’s candidates: 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. 

Joseph Pena, a business management junior at A&M-San Antonio, said the primaries are most important to him because they are often overlooked. 

“If you want to see change, you have to do your part,” said Pena, who voted at the university’s Mays Center. “

Jesus Palomo, a 69-year-old who worked in construction for 49 years, said he had an easy time voting at Precinct 1 Satellite Office at 3505 Pleasanton Road.

Palomo has always voted Democrat for the past 15 years and has always voted since he “started complaining as an 18-year-old.”

Palomo also described what he views as the difference in appearance between a Republican and a Democrat.

“When have you seen a Republican in tennis shoes?” Palomo said. “Tell me.”

The presidential race is important for Palomo, who takes pride as a voting Democrat.

“I voted for Biden,” he said. “It’s time for us to get back on track and make sure that we can live in the land of the free. I think Joe Biden is the man for the job.”

Jason Daniels, a 70-year-old retired Army veteran, said he came out to the Great Northwest Library to perform his civic duty.

Jason Daniels, an Army veteran who cast his ballot at Great Northwest Library, says he votes “for democracy’s sake.” Photo by Matthew Lizcano

“I vote every time there is an election, general or otherwise for democracy’s sake,” Daniels said. 

Daniels said the election is important to him as a veteran and a Black man. He emphasized his support for most Democratic candidates.

“I’m sticking with the Democrats for sure, but not everybody,” Daniels said. “Just the ones I know are doing right by everybody.” 

Mission Branch Library saw many campaign workers lined up outside the voting center in the library. 

Among them, Faye Suficiencia, an A&M-San Antonio alumna, urged voters to consider her candidate. 

“It is important to vote for someone who relates to the needs of my family and myself,” said Suficiencia, who graduated in May 2023 and studied political science

Voters end workday, head to polls: 5-7 p.m. 

Brady Dylla, a 28-year-old audiologist, said he has been voting for eight years. Dylla said voting is crucial, so his voice can be heard as a U.S. citizen. 

“I think it’s important to vote, because a lot of things get determined here when it comes down to general elections,” Dylla said, standing outside of the Alamo Heights Methodist Church polling center. “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.”

Dylla said he voted for Nikki Haley, Republican candidate for U.S. president.

Haley dropped out of the presidential race today. She had lost to former President Donald J. Trump in 14 of 15 states on Super Tuesday.

John Rodriguez, who works at a nonprofit, heads to the polling place at Mary Burns Michael Elementary School on the evening of March 5, 2024. Photo by Amanda Aguillon

John Rodriguez, a supervisor for a nonprofit organization, said it’s important to vote because it’s like taking vitamins.

“You have to regularly do it in order to see change,” said Rodriguez, who voted at Mary Burns Michael Elementary School north of JBSA-Lackland. “If not, then you’re not doing your part.”

Claudia Hernandez, a 56-year-old school teacher accompanied by her dog Chloe, said she rushed to Parman Library at Stone Oak after work because it was the closest polling station to her.

Voters line up outside Parman Library at Stone Oak on the evening of March 5, 2024. Photo by Zeba Kurji

“I feel like I have the right to vote about what I believe in and what is the best for this country,” Hernandez said as she was exiting the library. “I voted for the Democratic Party because I believe the other party is racist.”

Daisy Chavez, a Southwest San Antonio resident who voted at Christa McAuliffe Middle School, offered advice to people who feel as if their vote doesn’t matter.

“Thinking like that has gotten us where we are at today,” Chavez said.

Contributors: Dominique Villanueva, Charley Gallegos, Selene Torres-Chavez, Alexandra Valdez, Samantha Medina Pow, Carlos Macias, Alex Plata, Matthew Lizcano, Amanda Aguillon, Spring De La Garza, Dorian Gonzalez, Zeba Kurji and Dearius Cuellar

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