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Bruce Selcraig, Staff writerMay 12, 2021Updated: May 12, 2021 5: 30 p.m.
Candidates for San Antonio City Council District 9 included Erika Moe, from left, and the two who made it to a runoff, Patrick Von Dohlen and Councilman John Courage, all seen at a neighborhood association forum last month.Lisa Krantz /Staff photographer
The gloves are off in the campaigning for San Antonio City Council’s District 9 runoff election June 5. Repeat challenger Patrick Von Dohlen, who had already labeled Councilman John Courage a Socialist and Marxist, now is circulating reports that Courage is endorsed by prominent Democrats.
City Council races are officially nonpartisan, but Von Dohlen, who lost to Courage in 2017 and 2019, issued an “urgent appeal” to fellow Republicans on Tuesday stating his opponent had solicited the help of “gun-grabbing” Beto O’Rourke and “ultra-leftist” Wendy Davis, former statewide candidates for the U.S. Senate and governor, respectively.
Actually, no such appeals or endorsements have been made, nor would they be accepted, Courage said in a statement released the same day.
“I do not serve as a partisan,” Courage said. “The only endorsements I care about are the ones given by the voters of District 9, whom I have served faithfully and enthusiastically for these past four years.”
His staff said Von Dohlen made a similar claim last week at a meeting of the Heart de San Antonio Republican Women. In response to the mention of O’Rourke and Davis, two women in attendance can be heard saying, “Oh, my gosh” on a recording of the event they provided.
“It’s really too bad that my opponent feels he needs to frighten all those Republican women,” Courage said in an interview. “He’s just making all this up. People judge me by my work.”
Von Dohlen has not returned repeated calls seeking comment.
Courage won a plurality in the May 1 election with 47 percent of the vote to Von Dohlen’s 36 percent in a field of four candidates.
Their national party alignments are no mystery. Von Dohlen, a financial planner, stirs his supporters with charges that Courage supports “federally-funded abortion on demand,” defunding the police and the “radical Marxist” Black Lives Matter movement.
Courage, a retired school teacher and Air Force police officer, has made unsuccessful runs as a Democrat for Congress and the state Senate.
He points to his vote for a current city budget that increased funding for police and says he has been able to win twice in a district that went 60 percent for Donald Trump in November by staying focused on neighborhood priorities like potholes, sidewalks and street lights.
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