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Aransas Pass Progress

April Debates Planned for Aransas Pass May Ballot

By Mark Silberstein,


As with the last election cycle, The Aransas Pass Progress will host political debates for three races on the May 6 ballot, including Mayor, and City Council seats for Place 1 and Place 3. The event will be held Friday, April 14 in the Nature Trail meeting room at the Aransas Pass Civic Center, 700 W. Wheeler Ave. Seating is limited, and it’s first come, first served only.

The order of the debates begins at 6:00 p.m. and runs until 7:00 p.m. with the race for Mayor, pitting incumbent Ram Gomez against newcomer, Jason Followell. All the candidates have been mailed invitations seeking their participation, given a March 31 deadline of 5:00 p.m. to respond.

Gomez has held the office since 2017, following Hurricane Harvey. Followell owns Texas Strong Fitness, a gym next door to The Progress/Ingleside Index newspaper offices on S. Houston St.

After a 30-minute break, the second debate of the evening is scheduled for the Place 1 seat starting at 7:30 p.m. and running until 8:30 p.m. pitting incumbent Carrie Scruggs against Coastal Bend Kayak owner, Hector Rios. Scruggs also serves as Mayor Pro Tempore.

Scruggs advised The Progress she would be unable to attend due to an earlier commitment, a family wedding. If Rios agrees to participate, the time would be devoted to questions and answers from the moderator and the public.

The final debate session between 9-10:00 p.m. will bring together Joe Dominguez against Eric Kindervater for the Place 3 council seat, vacated in February when Jan Moore resigned for family reasons. Dominguez, owner of Texas Coast Comfort Solutions, an HVAC company, was appointed by the remaining council to fill Moore’s existing term and has chosen to seek the office for another two years. Kindervater’s family also owns a business in Aransas Pass.

Arrangements are being made to livestream the event online for those unable to attend in person, and more details will be updated as they become available.

Mark Silberstein, editor of The Progress, will serve as the debate moderator. Each candidate will have an opportunity to present both opening and closing statements, be asked a series of questions formulated by The Progress staff, and permitted to ask their opposing candidates questions of their choice with opportunity for rebuttal.

Snacks and light refreshments will be served.

Ample, free parking is available on site.

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