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Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 10:20pm
ANTHONY, Texas — Change in leadership is coming for the town of Anthony with two longtime incumbents and the mayor having served their final term in office.
Three of the six elected officials will be replaced in the near future.
"I'm very excited," said Joanna Rivera who defeated 19-year incumbent Demetrio Cuellar.
Rivera, a lifelong Anthony resident and current government and economics teacher at Anthony High School, will begin her first term ever in public office.
She said she's always been involved in the community and felt serving as a council member would be a good way to give back.
16-year incumbent and current Mayor Pro Tem Luis Vela also lost his seat to Jose Garcia, a former town representative, by only 15 votes.
"I've talked to a lot of neighbors, a lot of students and a lot of constituents of Anthony, Texas and they are ready for growth and new leadership," Rivera said.
The town will also have a new mayor at some point, after Art Franco pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony during the first week of May.
With new faces headed to the council, the town will be in a period of transition.
"We all just need to be accustomed to change and I think that as a council we're going to have to adapt," Rivera said.
The newly-elected alderperson plans on focusing on the issues such as bringing jobs and infrastructure improvements.
"First and foremost is the streets and proper lighting," Rivera said of the concerns of residents.
Rivera added she received a lot of support from family and community members during her campaign.
"They've all really pushed me and helped me achieve one of my dreams which was to be a town council person," Rivera said.
The town is yet to canvass the May 11 election after having to wait the five days for any overseas ballots.
Town officials are scheduling a special meeting Monday, but it's unknown what will be on the agenda.