As the sister of District 3 Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, one could argue that Phyllis Viagran entered the race to replace her as the silent heir apparent.
However, the prequel to her story brings to light a history of community involvement that has gone largely under the radar until now.
In fact, throughout her sister’s eight-year tenure, Phyllis has been right there alongside her and is richly familiar with the inner workings of City Hall.
“The [media] and others talked about me as the frontrunner so I really wanted to prove that I was a frontrunner,” says Viagran via Zoom. She’s wearing a checkered blouse and a black headset that nearly matches the color of her dark brown hair.
“It is a unique position and I’m appreciative of it,” she says of both the family connection and her municipal insight. “I wish I was already [on council] but I just have to be patient and be ready to work and ask the questions of City staff once I get there.”
Viagran firmly believes that she has the qualifications, connections, and energy for the job, which is why she initially decided to run.
“After looking around and seeing who was interested and who was not interested in running for the seat I finally decided that I would regret it if I don’t run,” she told me last December.
In the general election, a field of 12 candidates competed in the D3 race and 10,269 in-district ballots were ultimately cast. Viagran finished the night leading with 22 percent of the vote (2,260 votes). Former Texas House Representative Tomas Uresti trailed with 14.7 percent of votes (1,514). The race will go to a runoff on June 5.
The District 3 rematch mirrors the family-centric tenor of the South Side. Both candidates are members of two political families, the Viagran sisters and the Uresti brothers. Tomas is brother to Tax Assessor-Collector Albert Uresti and former state Sen. Carlos Uresti.
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