Kaylee Greenlee Beal/Contributor
Councilman Clayton Perry endorsed Marc Whyte, seen Saturday at a candidate forum, in the District 10 election.
Embattled Councilman Clayton Perry is endorsing business attorney Marc Whyte to fill his District 10 seat.
The Northeast Side councilman, facing drunken driving and hit-and-run charges, was slow to offer support.
In February, Perry announced that he wouldn’t seek re-election on the May 6 city ballot after weeks of behind-the-scenes meetings with friends and supporters and signs of dwindling support.
“Marc Whyte shares my commitment to lowering taxes, ensuring public safety, and supporting our military community,” Perry said in a news release from Whyte’s campaign. “Marc will continue the important work we’ve started together in District 10.”
Whyte said he is “incredibly grateful” for Perry’s endorsement and “his unwavering service to District 10.”
Whyte sought Perry’s support before announcing his candidacy in February. He originally said he would not run for the District 10 seat unless Perry chose to step down, but then Whyte started lining up a campaign staff before Perry made his final decision.
While Perry, 67, was trying to decide whether or not to run, a group of former District 10 councilmen quietly lobbied him not to seek a fourth term.
Whyte, 42, filed to run for the seat the same day that Perry announced he would not run. He has been endorsed by several past District 10 councilmen, many of whom had also been pushing Perry not to run. Whyte also has support from Precinct 3 County Commissioner Grant Moody, the San Antonio Police Officers Association and the San Antonio Board of Realtors.
He befriended Perry about eight years ago when they worked together in the Northeast Neighborhood Alliance, a group focused on streets, drainage, public safety and other community issues. Perry appointed Whyte, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in Texas House District121in 2018, to the city’s Zoning Commission in 2019.
Perry, the council’s most conservative member, considered running for Bexar County commissioner in 2019 but ultimately decided to stay on the council. The Northeast Side councilman was said to be lobbying at the time for his fellow council members to appoint Whyte as his successor.
Like Perry, Whyte leans conservative.
He is one of seven candidates running for the District 10 seat but appears to be the front-runner. A crowded race is typical when there is no incumbent to run against.
Perry took a nearly two-month-long leave of absence that started in mid-November after he was accused of driving his Jeep Rubicon while intoxicated, crashing into a Honda Civic at a Northeast Side intersection and fleeing the scene on the night of Nov. 6. The driver of the Civic and a passenger were uninjured.
He was arrested on a charge of leaving an accident scene without providing information Nov. 10 and with DWI on Dec. 28 — both Class B misdemeanors.
Police say surveillance video at the Evil Olive bar and restaurant on Thousand Oaks Drive showed Perry consuming 14 alcoholic beverages in four hours the night of the accident.
Perry unexpectedly returned to City Council on Jan. 12, less than a week before the council and mayoral candidates could begin filing for places on the May ballot. It was a move that had some thinking he was trying to scare off any potential challengers.
Perry referenced his situation at Thursday’s City Council meeting as the city kicked off Fiesta season with a proclamation.
In past years, Perry has put the slogan “party with Perry” on his Fiesta medals and said he will keep the tradition.
“I want to remind everybody — party but be safe, right? Lesson learned here,” he said, motioning to himself.