GALENA PARK – After a close election in May, in which four candidates vied for the office of major of Galena Park, in the run-off election held last Saturday, June 21 Galena Park made history by electing the first Hispanic female mayor of the city.
Moya was running against Joe Thibodeaux, a well known candidate because he had been city councilman for 20 years. Moya did not have any other political experience, but convinced the voters by a wide margin that she had the qualifications to be mayor.
Even though it was a runoff, voters were excited enough about the outcome to turn out in numbers larger that the general election in May. At that time, 746 votes were recorded, and this time 784 electors went to the voting booths.
Moya received a total of 452 votes, and her opponent Joe Thibodeaux received 322. Both of these total were an in-crease from the previous election, where Moya received 260 and Thibodeaux 217.
Also on the ballot was a run-off for Council Seat #4, between Juan Flores Jr. and Martha Flores. This position is responsible for Streets and Bridges in the city. Voting was quite close in this race, because both candidates are well known in the community. J. Flores received 377 votes, and M. Flores was close behind, with 360 votes.
Many voters chose to go to the polls early, either voting Early Voting ballots in person or by mail, but statistics show that their choices were similar to the final outcome.
Esmeralda Moya, 45, will take office after being sworn in at City Hall on July 1st at 6 p.m.
Moya campaigned in a traditional way, ringing doorbells and “block-walking” to talk with citizens about their needs and desires from the city. Most said they wanted a cleaner environment, a more beautiful look to Galena Park, and more economic development, with jobs and more stores.
Moya is trained as a clinical psychologist, but has experience in management at Harris County Dept. of Education and the Houston Port Authority.
Her plan is to develop alliances with the Greater Houston Partnership and the Port Region Economic Alliance to bring about change and improvement in the city.
Moya grew up in Galena Park, graduated from the GP High School, and loves the city. “I don’t want to leave. I love it here.”