June 6, 2005: Headlines: Figures: Staff: Politics: City Government: Election2005 - Hardberger: Associated Press: Phil Hardberger has since picked up the support of San Antonio's business community, and in the latest citywide poll, he held a 50 percent to 47 percent edge over Castro in race for mayor

Peace Corps Online: State: Texas: June 26, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: Phil Hardberger (Staff) : June 6, 2005: Headlines: Figures: Staff: Politics: City Government: Election2005 - Hardberger: Associated Press: Phil Hardberger has since picked up the support of San Antonio's business community, and in the latest citywide poll, he held a 50 percent to 47 percent edge over Castro in race for mayor

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-245-37.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.245.37) on Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 4:17 pm: Edit Post

Phil Hardberger has since picked up the support of San Antonio's business community, and in the latest citywide poll, he held a 50 percent to 47 percent edge over Castro in race for mayor

Phil Hardberger has since picked up the support of San Antonio's business community, and in the latest citywide poll, he held a 50 percent to 47 percent edge over Castro in race for mayor

Phil Hardberger has since picked up the support of San Antonio's business community, and in the latest citywide poll, he held a 50 percent to 47 percent edge over Castro in race for mayor

San Antonio mayoral runoff campaign turns nasty

T.A. BADGER

Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO - Two Democrat lawyers - one an up-and-coming Hispanic, the other an ex-judge four decades older - face off Tuesday in a mayoral runoff that has gotten nastier as the expected vote margins have narrowed.

Julian Castro, a 30-year-old city councilman, held a 12-percentage-point advantage over rival Phil Hardberger, a retired state appellate judge, after last month's general election in the nation's eighth-largest city.

But Hardberger has since picked up the support of San Antonio's business community, and in the latest citywide poll, he held a 50 percent to 47 percent edge over Castro.

With the survey's margin for error at plus or minus 5 percent, the race is a statistical dead heat, which has intensified the rhetoric and TV ads from both camps.

Castro, who called for positive campaigning while his lead was large, is airing ads that slam Hardberger for voting to free a number of convicted murderers and sex offenders on technicalities while serving on the state's 4th Court of Appeals.

He also accused Hardberger of being a greedy personal injury lawyer who has gotten rich by suing the city and local businesses.

Hardberger, 70, has assailed Castro as a flip-flopper on key issues who missed hundreds of votes during his four years on the city council.

He also says Castro's troubles with inaccurate campaign finance reports prove he's too inexperienced to oversee the city's $1.5 billion budget.

The acrimony between the men was clear when they appeared Friday at their final televised debate, which featured a format that allowed them to ask each other a series of questions.

When Hardberger slapped at Castro for the prisoner-freeing ad, Castro responded, "You have made this race about judgment. That is your record, and you're not going to run away from your record ... You have shown a clear pattern of bad judgment."

Hardberger countered that Castro, a Harvard-trained lawyer, is distorting the judge's record to further his political career.

"Why? Because of blind ambition, and blind ambition is a really bad master," said Hardberger, a former Air Force pilot who served as executive secretary of the Peace Corps in the early 1960s.

Later in the debate Castro got in a dig on the multigenerational age difference between the men, saying "I'm old enough to know I have a lot to learn, and I'm young enough to have the energy to do it."

Hardberger made fun of Castro's bid to portray himself as a fiscal conservative while trying to win over supporters of former councilman Carroll Schubert, who finished third in the May 7 general election with 26 percent of the vote.

"People are still laughing about that one," Hardberger said.

Castro captured 42 percent of the May 7 vote, while Hardberger collected 30 percent in a city that has a Hispanic majority.

Schubert, who ran strong in San Antonio's predominantly white, well-to-do districts, later endorsed Hardberger.

Castro and his identical twin brother Joaquin, now a state legislator, were raised in a poor neighborhood by a single mother active in progressive politics. Both went to Stanford and Harvard Law School.

The Castros got national attention before the May election when it was revealed that Joaquin stood in for Julian on a city council parade float while Julian campaigned elsewhere. Schubert and Hardberger then accused the brothers of using their sameness for deceptive purposes.





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Story Source: Associated Press

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