State Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, is telling supporters that he will leave the Legislature in order to run for mayor of San Antonio. He is also asking for donations to the "Mike for Mayor" campaign.
Villarreal has been working to build support for a mayoral run ever since word broke that the city's current mayor, Julián Castro, was being tapped by President Barack Obama to be the next secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Driving the timeline here is the fact that Villarreal has until late August to withdraw his name from the November ballot in order to allow someone else to run for his House seat for next session. City Councilman Diego Bernal is being mentioned as a likely candidate for Villarreal's House seat should it open up.
San Antonio does not lack for long-tenured Democratic officeholders, so forecasting what will happen in the aftermath of Castro's departure is difficult. Adding to the overall complexity is uncertainty about what state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte might choose to do should she be unsuccessful in her run for lieutenant governor. Any decision she makes would have a huge impact on the final shape of the candidate shuffle in San Antonio.
The outgoing mayor's brother, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, was full of praise for Villarreal when asked about the race in Dallas today, but said he has not endorsed any candidates and is waiting to see how his brother's confirmation goes before weighing in.