With only seven days to cast their ballots during early voting, Mercedes residents have been making their voices known in the June 8 runoff election between Place 4 incumbent Rubén “Chano” Guajardo and former Commissioner Jose Gomez.

A total of 756 people had cast their ballots at the Mercedes Civic Center between Tuesday, May 28 and Saturday, June 1, county election records show.

In the entirety of the May 8 election, the two candidates won a combined 938 votes between them in what was then a four-way race.

Early voting was slated to continue Monday and Tuesday before polls closed until Election Day.

Both candidates had ramped up their block walking efforts in the lead up to the start of early voting, with Guajardo saying he had increased his block walking efforts from every other Saturday to daily.

“We’ve been working extremely hard on a daily basis to ensure that we give ourselves every opportunity to get re-elected,” Guajardo said in an interview late last month.

Gomez, too, said he was not taking the runoff challenge lightly. “We’re still working. We have to work,” Gomez said.

“We’re working it and visiting people at their homes.”

Gomez, who is running on a platform to increase transparency between the Mercedes City Commission and residents, said he hopes to foster more economic growth should he win the election.

“It’s to bring prosperity to the city, and what I mean by that is go out there and find the businesses that will show Mercedes grow,” Gomez said of his campaign goals, adding that city leaders need to invest wisely.

Guajardo spoke of the gains the city has made over the last few years in regards to housing and infrastructure improvements, pointing to the development of several hundred new homes in the city, and a plan for a new subdivision which will contain over 100 homes, he said.

“All of these are things that are going to position us to be able to attract the big box retail,” Guajardo said, referring to the one goal he feels the city still has yet to reach — getting big box retailers to locate in the city.

“If I’m honored to be re-elected I will gladly continue to serve to the best of my ability. And, if not, it is the people that chose to, because we are of the people, for the people,” Guajardo said.

Gomez, too, said he looks forward to seeing how Mercedes residents decide.

“We feel good, we feel strong. And we’re ready to serve,” Gomez said.

Election Day is this Saturday, June 8. Polls open at 7 a.m.