El Paso City Council elections are intended to be nonpartisan, but District 6 elections between incumbent East Valley Rep. Claudia Lisette Rodriguez and former state Rep. Art Fierro turned distinctly partisan. rice field.
In late October, El Paso County Democrats urged voters not to support Rodriguez’s re-election, citing “shamelessly” violating campaign finance rules and voting against progressive priorities. issued a release.
“The El Paso County Democratic Party has traditionally refrained from participating in nonpartisan local elections,” the party’s news release said. “We respect the nonpartisan racial nature and focus on engaging with voters during partisan elections.”
El Paso Democrats Appeal Against City Councilman Claudia Rodriguez’s Re-Election
In the March 2022 Democratic primary, longtime state legislator Fierro lost the race for the 79th House district. Fierro immediately launched a campaign for the city council, but in the November 8 general election he finished second to Rodriguez with 30% of the vote.
City Council elections for Districts 1, 6 and 8 will be decided in a runoff ballot on Saturday, December 17th. Tuesday, December 13th is the last day for early voting. As of Saturday, December 10, when the final day’s early voting numbers were released, 4,907 voters had cast their ballots.
Only residents living in these city council districts can vote in the runoff ballot. So far, voter turnout has been low.
This is the second time Democrats are involved in city hall politics. The Texas Democratic Party chairman endorsed Mayor Oscar Lesser. The Chair subsequently withdrew his endorsement in July 2022.
Reeser lost support from Texas Democrats following a tie vote to reject a proposal to make abortion investigations a lower priority for city police.
El Paso County Democratic Party chairman Michael Apodaca said his party inevitably entered the nonpartisan city election after realizing Rodriguez’s string of missteps in the Sixth District election.
“I think it really comes down to two important things,” Apodaca said. You make it worse with her vote for the Women’s Commission this year and her proposal to try to protect women’s choice.
“I think the final turning point was being on Fox News and being a voice for right-wing misinformation,” he continued. “I think some of us finally said enough was enough.”
Fierro similarly cited Rodriguez’s appearances on Fox News and Newsmax as sparking partisanship in the District 6 campaign.
“It was a forced hand,” Fierro said. “From day one, I have promised and focused that this is an election decided by the citizens of District 6. It is their decision, not that of the conservative press. .”
However, Rodriguez argues that her appearance on a right-wing news program was not a partisan move and that the Democrats were responsible for making the election political.
“Voters, whether Democrats, Republicans, or independents, appreciated my shedding light on the immigration crisis,” Rodriguez said in an email. The federal government has failed us all with immigration, but they expect local taxpayers to pay for their failure.”
“I said I would never do that, and that’s why I asked the (El Paso) Mayor (Oscar) Reeser to declare a state of emergency,” she continued. but the Democrats have made this a partisan issue again and at the end of Title 42 I expect this crisis to get worse but I’ll keep El Paso in place taxpayers first.”
For Apodaca, the infiltration of partisan politics into the local race was inevitable.
“I think partisanship has already been brought into these races,” Apodaca said. I think I’m doing my best to be nonpartisan as far as possible, but when you’re campaigning, you can’t ignore that.”
Additionally, Apodaca said the party is being asked to be more involved in local races.
“Everybody was totally supportive of this,” Apodaca said of the endorsement. “I think we’re pretty united on this one.”
While Fierro said he was “humbled and grateful” for the party’s support, he lamented the fact that partisan strife distracts people from the issue.
“It’s a shame because this has always been non-partisan and has always been kind of like a school board…the whole purpose was to run on your platform.despite your political stance , what were you trying to do for the community?” said Fierro. “There are some obvious black and white issues, and my position on this issue is not secret, it’s widely publicized because I believe the incumbents have politicized the election campaign. .
Meet the 2022 Runoff Candidates: El Paso City Council, District 6
However, Rodriguez argued that the Democratic Party’s involvement in the election and recent endorsements have had little impact on her ability to connect with voters.
“We got the most votes from Democrats, Republicans and independents in the general election,” Rodriguez said in an email. They only got 30% of the vote, which shows that my track record and my plans for the future transcend partisanship.
“When we represent the Sixth District, we represent all parties. So we shouldn’t inject partisan politics into these races.” Democrats like Wesley Lawrence The ideological leader is absolutely wrong, slanderous and defamatory when he says I am anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, anti-women.Is he blind? I am a (a) proud Latina who speaks English as a second language.I am (a) a woman, mother and wife. Sponsored Mayor’s Proclamation Democrats think they can lie about my character to get their chosen candidate elected, but they’re wrong. prize.
Fierro, meanwhile, has seen the effects of partisanship in the District 6 election. While campaigning, I came across voters who nodded in agreement as Fierro explained his priorities. “Financially conservative, socially progressive, mostly Democrats,” he replied.
“I believe the race will ultimately come down to who has the stronger platform,” Fierro said. ‘Behold’.”
Fierro plans to win over partisanship by gaining support from the Democratic Party and staying focused on the issue.
“Since day one, we’ve been working on three or four issues,” says Fierro. We’ve drawn a line on property taxes and property valuations, but I think we’ll have to fight to freeze taxation on the elderly and disabled.
Likewise, Rodriguez said she remains focused on her top priorities: taxes, transportation and city administrators, and is confident District 6 voters will eventually re-elect her. .
Rodriguez said, “I received the highest number of votes in the November general election.” said he wasn’t the person he wanted to represent…all the votes.”