SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Embattled Precinct 2 Constable Michelle Barrientes Vela says her statement to reporters about running for sheriff was an “excited utterance,” not a formal campaign announcement.
Last Monday, September 23, Vela’s Northwest Side office was raided by the FBI and Texas Rangers. That same day, she told reporters that she planned to run for sheriff in 2020, triggering the Texas Constitution’s resign-to-run provision.
That’s according to Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales, who quoted Vela as “formally” announcing that she “will be seeking the chair and the seat of the sheriff’s office.”
Saturday, Vela said, “I was in a frame of shock as to the raid and watching what was occurring when I made the sheriff’s statement. I made an excited utterance rather than a formal political declaration.”
In a written statement, Vela said she spoke “in the heat of the moment without having time to reflect upon it.”
Last Wednesday, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff announced that Commissioners Court is moving forward with appointing a replacement for Vela. Applications were being accepted and commissioners will meet in a special session to select a finalist October 2.
Vela has 15-months left in her term and she says she has no plans to abandon the Precinct 2 Constable’s office.
“I will continue to humbly serve the constituents of Precinct 2 as we move forward together,” she said.
As far as the Texas resign-to-run law, Vela says she did not complete a primary ballot application, submit any filing fees or designate a campaign treasurer when she said last week she would seek the sheriff’s office in 2020.
“I did not request financial support, votes or any other kind of support for sheriff,” she said.