Ruben Cantu

Ruben Cantu

The ballots are in, people have spoken, and the 2020 Best of Del Rio annual people’s choice awards is entering a new phase. Starting today, you will find a new ballot in the paper with the same categories as before, but now the options to choose from are limited to three — sometimes four.

This year the competition is allowing Del Rioans to support their favorite businesses, professionals and organizations in a two-round contest. During the first phase, voters openly decided which ones to choose, and now the ballot presents a multiple-choice format.

Only the most-voted ones made to the second and last round of the awards.

Starting today you can vote in a variety of categories including food, services, automotive, medical, night life and others.

The awards have become a staple of the community for local businesses in terms of reliability, customer service, quality and overall what people like the most in Del Rio.

Search for the ballot printed in the News-Herald, and select your favorites in the 67 categories listed this year.

You can help your favorite business get the coveted gold star.

Voters must complete all the information at the bottom of the ballot and vote for their favorite choices. Qualified voters will be entered to win a $100, $50, or $25 gift card.

All entries must be received by Friday, Jan. 31 at 5 p.m.

Final decisions on ballots, categories and winning entries will be made by the Del Rio News-Herald.

To ensure credibility of this contest entries must be on original newspaper ballot, not a photocopy, and only one ballot per person will be accepted.

Entries mailed or brought to the News-Herald in bulk will be screened.

Awards will be presented to the best bakery, the best burgers, fried chicken, Mexican restaurant and Mexican plate, best salsa, best attorney, best florist, best plumber, best liquor store, best funeral home, among many, many other businesses and business professionals.

All you need to do is fill out the ballot by writing in your top three choices in at least 25 categories, and wait for the results to be announced.

This year’s winners will be announced in a special publication in the Sunday, Feb. 29 edition of the Del Rio News-Herald.

So hurry up and help your favorite businesses in town get some recognition.

Since we are touching upon selections and elections, there’s another election that will be impacting the lives of many in the local community, and that is the upcoming March primaries.

The Val Verde Republican Party and Val Verde Republican Women will be hosting a candidate forum today, starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Ramada Inn Sunblossom Room, where GOP candidates running for county, state and federal offices will be presenting their case before local voters.

The forum is the first of the season but not the only one.

Before the end of the month there will be another forum, this one organized by Raise Your Hand Texas, in a partnership with the Del Rio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Ramada Inn, and the Del Rio News-Herald, to feature Republican and Democratic candidates running for Texas House District 74.

Since we are all familiar with the local organizations, I will touch a bit upon Raise Your Hand Texas, a foundation focusing on education. The foundation’s stated mission is to reinvent public education for the future by identifying breakthrough ideas to improve education to benefit all Texas students.

More details on the upcoming forum coming soon.

Last but not least, the second annual Red White and Blue 5K, an Amistad Bank-Del Rio News-Herald education-focused initiative is around the corner. A registration event will be held on Jan. 24, 6-10 p.m., at Mesquite Creek Outfitters on South Main Street.

The event includes a number of surprises, including but not limited to, the first-ever competitive 5K for the author of these lines as a runner, wish me luck and join me on Feb. 15 for this scholarship fundraiser, the event includes a 1K for children under 12.

Rubén Cantú has been a journalist since 1995. He is the managing editor of the Del Rio News-Herald.

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