Devine elects a new Mayor…
Cook wins by a landslide

Butch Cook won the mayor contest with a landslide vote.

The people have let their voices be heard again as Butch Cook victoriously won the City of Devine Mayor race by a landslide vote of 502 to 107, defeating the incumbent Cory Thompson.
It was the largest turnout for the city elections in quite some time. This year 609 residents came out to vote as the campaigns heated up, increasing the voter turnout to 140% compared to two years ago (436).
Butch Cook took the lead during early voting with 348 votes to Cory’s 74. On election day, Cook received 154 to Thompson’s 33.
Back in 2021, a total of 436 people voted in City Elections (with Cory Thompson narrowly defeating Kevin Hicks 229 to 207 in 2021).
“For the last two and a half months I have been knocking on doors, meeting as many people as I can. From past experiences on the Devine City Council I’m very aware that if there were simple solutions there wouldn’t be a problem, but I’m ready and eager for this new challenge! It is an incredible honor that the voters in our city are allowing me to do so,” said Butch Cook.
Cook’s campaign promises included:
-Make our city’s water system the top priority. -Aggressively pursue a City Administrator, and remove requirements that are hindering the process.
-Restore order and civility to the city meetings, and ensure all council members are informed on agenda issues in a timely manner.
-Show transparency and accountability -when and where taxpayer money is spent.
-Bring back the lines of communication between the city and the citizens that we are here to serve.
Cook brings his leadership skills to the office from his 7 years on the City Council, 5 years as President of Devine Little League, 7 years as President of South Texas Basketball Officials Association, 8 years as Men’s Basketball Coach at Palo Alto College, and 38 years as a Business Owner in Devine ( Image Matters and South Texas Trophies), and multiple days volunteering with organizations including Mission Devine, Chamber of Commerce, DYSA, and Devine ISD Committees.
A little history…
Thompson served as an Alderman for District 5 before being appointed the Mayor after Bill Herring resigned, and then winning the election two times, against Pichardo and then Hicks.
According to The Devine News files (July 19, 2019): District 5 Councilman Cory Thompson was appointed mayor during an emergency meeting of the Devine City Council held on Friday, July 19, following Bill Herring’s sudden resignation from the position.
After District 2 Councilman and Mayor Pro-Tem Steve Lopez said he was not interested in taking over as mayor, District 3 Councilman David Espinosa nominated Thompson. Lopez provided the second, and the motion carried with the support of District 1 Councilman David Valdez and District 4 Councilwoman Jennifer Schott.
Then, council later appointed a resident of District 5 to fill Thompson’s seat on the Council. Debbie Randall was appointed in September 2019 as recommended by Thompson as someone who would vote like him for that district.
District 5
In the uncontested District 5 election Debbie Randall received 168 votes. (In 2021 that district election drew 201 voters, 128 for Randall and 73 for Kevin Stephens.)
All terms are two year terms. All of the May 2023 Election Results are considered unofficial results until they have been canvassed.
Problems at the polls…
Errors prevented at least 6 residents to vote in the District 2 race in City of Devine
In the District 2 race, unofficial tallies show Michael Hernandez receiving 47 votes to incumbent Angela Pichardo’s 42, a difference of five votes.
There were errors in District 2 voting cards reported in the first couple days of voting, as announced by the City of Devine last week, stating that six voters were not allowed to vote in the District 2 election. As a result, the District 2 election could be contested.
The City of Devine sent out a public notice as soon as the issue was discovered to let the public know that there were 201 voters whose residency was inaccurately listed. After the clerical error was discovered, the City found 6 voters that had been denied the right to vote in the District 2 race. From that point on, election judges were very careful to look over every voter card and make sure that people who live in District 2 were able to vote in the District 2 race by comparing addresses to the most recent redistricting maps.
Last week, Medina County Elections Administrator Lupe Torres explained that “As for how the incorrect precinct/districts were assigned, it was due to a clerical error made during the redistricting process.”
According to City of Devine Interim City Administrator Dora Rodriguez, if a candidate wants to protest this contest, the candidate will be responsible for filing a lawsuit.
“After contacting our Attorney Tom Cate and the attorney at the Secretary of State’s Office, I told both candidates when I called them to let them know about the election situation, and that whoever lost the election, they would have to file a lawsuit at their cost for the election protest.  The court would determine if the city needs to hold a special election.”
In response to the incident, Angela Pichardo stated, “We will seek remedies to investigate who’s Responsibility and negligent actions caused the errors. I do not want to create a separation in District 2 since we have worked so hard to unify the community as a whole, but if laws have been violated, we must make sure EVERYONE’S Right to Vote is Given and those responsible be Accountable. This is an example of the needed changes in City Government. I want to Thank all the citizens that came out to vote as we had a record number and I want to wish the New Leader of our City much Success and Progress for Devine….I want to make sure that voters were not cheated out of their right to vote.”
In this year’s election, Pichardo had a small lead after early voting with 38 to Hernandez 36. Election Day, Hernandez took the lead with 11 votes to her 4. Totals were Hernandez 36+11= 47, to Pichardo’s 38+ 4= 42.
Back in 2021, Pichardo was first elected to the position by defeating Maria Pena 32 to 18. Voter turnout almost doubled in this district this year.
All of the May 2023 Election Results are considered unofficial results until they have been canvassed.