Martinez had picked up his filing form before the 5 p.m. Feb. 28 deadline, and he was expected to have the application returned in time to be on the ballot.
City Secretary Barbara Treviño said she had expected the former mayor to file for the position he currently holds, in Ward 2.
Treviño said only one candidate had filed for the Ward 2 position by the time the deadline passed.
That was current Ward 4 Councilman John Govella Fulghum. Treviño said Fulghum and City Attorney Frank Warner were both in her office just before the 5 p.m. last Friday when it became obvious that Martinez would not be filing.
Seeing that there was no candidate for the Ward 2 ballot, Fulghum filled out a new filing form and changed his candidacy to Ward 2 just seconds before the deadline.
Martinez was elected mayor five years ago when he was in the middle of his second, two-year term on the council.
At a ceremony held in the council chamber at City Hall a year ago, after Ward 3 Councilman David Carabajal replaced him as mayor, Martinez was lauded for having presided over a booming city economy during his years as mayor.
Fulghum, a 53-year-old self-employed jeweler, is the only incumbent on the council with no opponent this year. That means the council is expected to cancel the election in that ward later.
One other potential candidate who had been expected to file in Ward 2 was retired oil company executive Jessy T. Garza. He had picked up a filing form and had returned it with the ward designation blank.
Garza later indicated that he wanted to seek the Ward 2 position, but there was a problem with the handwriting on the filing form.
Treviño said she was advised by Warner and attorneys with the secretary of state’s office in Austin not to accept the form unless Garza resubmitted a form by the filing deadline.
By then, Carabajal, a 42-year-old employee in the engineering department at Time Warner Cable Co., had one opponent in Ward 3. Benjamin Ray Puente, a 38-year-old employee in the oil field, had filed for a place on the Ward 3 ballot on Feb. 27.
With Fulghum changing from Ward 4 to Ward 2, that left two newcomers to the city political scene to face each other in the May 10 election.
Yvonne Dunn, a 51-year-old retiree from the U.S. Navy, will face 37-year-old Domingo Vidaurri Salinas Jr. He listed his occupation as a mechanic.
Early voting by personal appearance in the City Council and Beeville Water Supply District elections this year will begin on April 28 at City Hall and end on May 6.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.