Devine and Lytle voters will decide City Council contests on Nov. 3. The following information was provided by candidates in contested races in response to a Devine News questionnaire. Some candidates did not submit completed questionnaires or photos. Candidates are presented in alphabetical order. Responses are edited for style and space. (i) = incumbent.
Angela Ortiz Pichardo
Education/Experience: Graduate of Devine HS, UTSA. Master’s in education. 24 years in education; 26 years in real estate. 2018 HEB Excellence in Education award. San Antonio Aviation and Aerospace Hall of Fame inductee. Established non-profits: HOPE (Helping Others Progress through Education) and Pichardo STEM/STEAM Foundation. No previous political experience.
Priorities: “Bring professionalism and respectful leadership back to the Devine mayor’s seat. Collaborate and communicate with citizens, businesses and federal and state entities so the city not only grows, but thrives. Establish respectful discourse in our City Council. As your next mayor, I will represent all of our citizens.”
Cory Thompson (i)
Education/Experience: City resident for over 25 years, with career in
residential design, construction and development. Involved in 4H, Boy Scouts and various church and community nonprofit events. Served on Devine City Council for the past four years as a councilman, and as mayor for the past 14 months.
Priorities: “I want to see Devine become the most successful town on I-35 between San Antonio and Laredo. That success includes new roads, better drainage, new parks, more community wide events, economic growth and better jobs. It’s time for Devine to start winning!”
Rufino Vega is unopposed.
David Espinosa, Sr. (i)
Education/Experience: Served 10 years on Council, and 1.5 years on Planning/Zoning. I served 6.5 years in the US Army in the Air Defense Artillery Dept, and served as a squad leader for 4.5 years. After retiring from the Army, I opened my own business as a general contractor from 1983-2016.
Priorities: “I want to continue working on the 5 year plan. We are in the midst of bringing in a City Administrator to help us and guide us. I think the citizens of Devine would like to see Devine grow in more jobs and businesses, as well as improvements, especially on our roads.”
Elmon D. “Sam” Ohlhausen Jr.
Education/Experience: Graduate of Lytle High School. Attended San Antonio College. Retired with 20 years of experience in the oil field and 20 years in concrete construction. First-time candidate for political office. Formerly active with Cub Scouts, and Atascosa and Medina County 4-H. Active in Hermann Sons Fraternal Lodge, former president of Macdona Lodge #198.
Priorities: “First and foremost would be municipal improvements. I would suggest improvements to our streets, sidewalks and drainage. Second, to entice commercial business to re-locate into our community.”
Education/Experience: Devine resident for 24 years. 17 years in law enforcement, currently in safety and DOT fields. Former school resource officer. Hosted and promoted community fundraisers for area teen programs. Worked with respected city and school district leaders in organizing schedules and logistics to ensure success.
Priorities: “I look forward to working with a new City Council, working as a team to get our city back on track. Focusing on infrastructure such as water lines and roads, and budget to welcome and support new businesses. Our city should be at a much greater level economically, no matter the district.”
Ricardo Covarrubia, Jr.
Education/Experience: Masters degree from UT Austin. Project engineer in the manufacturing sector. No previous political office.
Priorities: “Bring transparency and accountability to the City Council. Build upon previous work to keep advancing Devine economically and socially.”
Charles Guzman (i)
Education/Experience: Devine High School graduate. 31-year employee of USAA working in Records Management, Life & Health Division and Property & Casualty. Appointed District 4 councilman April 23. Former Grand Knight for Council 5192, St. Joseph Parish, and held other positions in Knights of Columbus Council. Currently serving final year as St. Joseph’s ACTS co-facilitator.
Priorities: “My main priority is to develop a plan to address the need for proper drainage and repair of our city streets. Second, address all issues with our infrastructure. We can’t or won’t grow without the proper infrastructure that new businesses would need or require in order to come to Devine.”
Education/Experience: Devine resident since 1991. Worked with and managed office of a prominent orthopedic surgeon until retiring. Have not held political office but have been active in community, church and school activities, including activities from elementary through high school with our children and now our grandchildren.
Priorities: “I believe there are several items that are extremely important to this office. I recognize the hardships COVID-19 has caused our citizens these past few months, and a balanced budget without a tax increase is essential. Street improvements need to be acted upon! All departments need to be accountable.”
Education/Experience: Devine High School graduate. Attended SWTJC and UTSA. Employed at Lytle State Bank. Former member of Devine Athletic Booster Club and 4-H leader, helping to form the Devine Livestock Booster Club back. Member/officer of Devine Chamber of Commerce and Friends of the Driscoll Public Library.
Priorities: “I would like the chamber and the city to work together to bring more businesses to the I-35 corridor to help our tax base, and to bring business into abandoned buildings in downtown. Keep golf course running; clean up park off Ross Avenue; improve fields for kids to practice and play.”
Debbi Randall (i)
Education/Experience: 21 years with a top-rated insurance company. As a single mother of twins, I learned the fine art of discipline, negotiations and taking a firm stand. Appointed to and served on Devine Parks & Recreation Advisory Board for two years. Appointed to District 5 council seat last year.
Priorities: “Hire a city manager; a 3- to 5-year road-repair program with a set schedule; renovate downtown to make it the go-to place for marketplace events in the area; court businesses to attract more housing development; build on our current park structure, with a public pool, walking trails and a sports complex.”