4 People Have Now Filed For District 2

One more person has jumped into the race for the District 2 seat vacated by Romero:

Abraham Monteros (Photo Courtesy El Paso Times)

district2

Not much information out there about Mr. Monteros yet.  According to the El Paso Times, Abraham Monteros, 27, is a student and research assistant at the University of Texas at El Paso who will graduate from UTEP in May with a bachelor’s in philosophy and French, he also spent five years in the U.S. Navy and served in Guam and Japan. “I feel that it is important for the city to reach out to its citizens and include them in the democratic process. I feel that my number one priority is to educate our community and reach out and ask them for their input.”

District 2, who are you going to vote for?

Early voting is April 25th – May 3rd with election day on May 7th.

Advertisements

Lots of Voting in May

In May there are 3 run-off’s and a special election, and not all of that is happening on the same day.  So, for clarification, here are the dates and elections:

Special election to fill the District 2 spot vacated by Romero will be held on May 7th.  Currently there are 3 candidates for the position:  Jim Tolbert, David Nevarez and Angel Del Toro.  You can read our post about them here.  Your last day to register to vote, if you haven’t already, April 7th. Early voting is April 25 – May 3, 2016.

There are 3 run-offs that will be held on May 24th:

  1.  District Attorney – this is a race between incumbent Jaime Esparza and first-time candidate Yvonne Rosales.  You can read our previous posts about them here.
  2. Justice on the state’s Eighth Court of Appeals – this is a race between Gina Palafox and Maria Ramirez.  We realized that we had neglected to post on this race, so look for our post this week!
  3. El Paso County Tax Assessor-Collector – this is a race between incumbent  Ruben Gonzalez (who was not elected to the position, but rather appointed by the County Commissioners last year) and Siria Rocha.  You can read our previous posts about them here.

Your last day to register to vote for the May 24th election is April 25th.  Early voting is May 16-20, 2016. 

So get those voting fingers ready!  We’re giving you PLENTY of notice so you have no excuse.

You can read the El Paso Inc story about the run-offs here.

Who Will Replace Romero?

The special election for the District 2 spot recently vacated by Larry Romero has been set for May 7th.  So far, 3 candidates have filed:  Jim Tolbert, David Nevarez and Angel Del Toro.

Tolbert

Photo courtesy http://jimtolbert.blogspot.com/

Jim Tolbert – “Now more than ever, we need strong, ethical representation at City Hall. We need leaders committed to a common vision who are willing to put in the hard work to make good things happen for El Paso residents. I want to work with the voters of District 2 to restore integrity and decisive leadership to City Hall.” Tolbert unsuccessfully ran against Romero in the 2013 election.  He is also the one to file the ethics complaint against Larry Romero and Tommy Gonzalez.  Tolbert, an El Paso native, is an environmentalist, sales representative, and a neighborhood activist. He is the Director of El Paso’s Celebration of Our Mountains, Chair of the West Texas Urban Forestry Council, member of Senator Jose Rodriguez’s Sustainable Energy and Environmental Committees, the City of El Paso’s Open Space Advisory Board, former Co-Chair of the City’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, and former member of the Building Standards Commission.  You can read his blog for his last run here, we were unable to find a page for this run. From his Facebook page: If elected, Jim Tolbert will:

• Be a full-time Representative who will listen to his constituents, communicate, be open, honest and transparent.
• Represent all of the interests of District 2, and be a strong leader who will work to make City government functional and ethical again.
• Champion El Paso’s businesses and employees. Growing businesses and well-paid workers mean a prosperous community.
• Work toward ending government waste of your tax dollars.
• Preserve our natural and heritage resources. Improve our parks, senior centers and recreational facilities.

12814544_596035803876793_5180998921361747132_n

Photo courtesy www.facebook.com/davidforelpaso

David Nevarez –  “Let Us Put People First, Not Politics”. Nevarez is a former marine and Chairman for the city’s Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee.  You can read his facebook page here.  It appears that he has a webpage but it is currently under construction.  From his Facebook page: David’s priorities as City Representative for District 2 will be:

1. Equal access and open representation of local government to promote new ideas
2. Stronger efforts for higher paying jobs and greater economic development for the district
3. Balancing the protection of open spaces and historical identity, while welcoming much needed improvements to the district’s infrastructure.

887486_619187408095732_901863764_o

Photo courtesy his Facebook page.

Angel Del Toro – Other than a Facebook profile, we were unable to find much information on him.  According to thelionstarblog, “He’s from the Austin area and is a retired Financial Analyst with the Federal Reserve Bank. He’s in his late 60’s.”  That’s really all we’ve got on him so far.

So, get ready to vote!  Candidates have until Monday, March 28th to file.

You can read the elpasoproud story here.

El Paso Election Results

So, the unofficial results are in.  84,460 people voted for a total of 21.09% in voter turn out. That means that less than a quarter of you who were registered voted.  Anyway, we are going to ignore the Presidential races because those received SO much coverage and, instead, are going to focus on the local races where we provided candidate information:

Winners:

Run Offs:

  • County Tax Assessor Collector: Ruben Gonzalez (incumbent) at 44.82% and Sira Rocha at 38.56% will run against each other again.
  • District Attorney: Jaime Esparza (incumbent) at 49.76% and Yvonne Rosales at 28.85% will run against each other again.
  • A runoff election will be May 24. Early voting starts May 16.

Congratulations to all the winners and good luck to those who are still running. You can see full election results by clicking here.

 

26,232

26,232 – That is how many El Pasoans voted in early voting. How many of us are registered?  400,504.  That means that 6.5% of registered voters have voted.  That is an appalling turn out and, unless there is a HUGE rush to the polls on Tuesday, El Paso continues the tradition of having a small minority of people making decisions for the large majority.  Way to go, El Paso.

There is still time – March 1st is election day.  GET OUT THERE AND VOTE.  You can find your polling station by clicking here.

The Ross Fischer Report & The El Paso Times

This weekend the El Paso Times did a three part editorial on the Ross Fischer report.  Here are our summaries of those articles:

  1.  Wilson Must Answer Ballpark Bond Questions:  The El Paso Times is trying to simultaneously take Wilson to task while defending her and saying that the additional money doesn’t really matter because “The bonds are being repaid by hotel-motel tax money, not property taxes.” and because El Paso will have the opportunity to refinance the bonds.  Doesn’t that make you feel better?
  2. El Pasoans, Speak Up On City Government: In this editorial, the El Paso Times has decided that the solution to getting Wilson to talk is to ignore it completely and encourage you to contact City Council Members (obviously).They even give you email and phone numbers so that you can contact the Mayor and City Council members.
  3. City Actions Require Law Enforcement Review: District Attorney Jaime Esparza, who is up for re-election tomorrow, announced that he had asked the Texas Rangers to review the Ross Fischer report. They then provide a list of items outlined by the report that might be criminal violations.  Know what wasn’t in that list?  The recommendation that a subpoena be issued for Joyce Wilson.  Also, we agree with elpasospeak.com – this move by Jaime Esparza looks more like a desperate move to help his election campaign.  Where was he during the El Paso Children’s Hospital Bankruptcy and the IGT for rent discussions?

So there you have it, the El Paso Times’ take on the Ross Fischer report.  They clearly like Joyce Wilson and are having a difficult time finding the right tone with her refusals to cooperate.

Last Day For Early Voting

Today is the last day for early voting.  This week we’ve featured information on some of the various local races, you can read our posts by clicking the links below:

State Representative District 75

State Representative District 77

County Tax Assessor-Collector

District Attorney

Constable Precinct 1

Constable Precinct 2

So, get out there and vote! You can find your voting station by clicking here.

CONSTABLE, PRECINCT NO. 4

This is a 2 way race between FRANCISCO ALMADA  (147) and LUIS “LOUIE” AGUILAR (148).

Francisco

Francisco Almada joined the El Paso Police Department in 2002  working as a Specialist II at Identification & Records. In 2007, he graduated from the El Paso Community College Law Enforcement Academy and was the first person to ever have been awarded the Exceptional Law Enforcement Skills Awards. Later in 2007, he joined the El Paso County Constable’s Office Precinct 1 and served as a Deputy. After the tragic and untimely death of Constable White, he was appointed to run the Department and oversee Precinct 1 by the Commissioners Court.You can read his webpage here. He says he will focus on the following:  Public Trust, Transparency, and positive community contact.  “The constituents of Precinct 4 deserve the highest level of service, integrity, and consistency”

Louie

Luis “Louie” Aguilar is the incumbent.  Unfortunately, we were unable to find much information about him beyond that.  His only web page is the county one (here) that does not provide much information. He also has a Facebook page but, apart from urging people to vote for him, gives no specifics.  “For continued Efficiency, Knowledge, Dedication, Integrity & 40 years of Law Enforcement Experience in our community Punch #148 to Re-Elect me Constable Luis “Louie” Aguilar for Pct. 4″.

Early voting ends TOMORROW!  Have you voted yet?  For all of the races we have featured this week, Today, Tomorrow and Next Tuesday are the ONLY time you will get an opportunity to decide who fills these positions.  GET OUT THERE AND VOTE!

You can find your voting station by clicking here.

Pictures curtsy the individual candidate sites. 

 

DISTRICT ATTORNEY

This is a 3 way race with YVONNE ROSALES (108), JAIME ESPARZA (109) and LEONARD “LENNY” MORALES (110).

12274360_1643733089221031_2783846934740968748_n

A native El Pasoan, Yvonne Rosales is a proud graduate of Austin High School, the University of Texas at El Paso and St. Mary’s University School of Law. Upon graduating from law school, Yvonne returned to El Paso to begin a career prosecuting dangerous criminals. In 2005, she co-founded the Al-Hanna and Rosales Law Firm, a successful criminal and family law firm. You can view her webpage here. Yvonne Rosales strongly supports using restriction methods, such as Ignition Interlock systems (which requires offenders to blow air into a device in order to start the vehicle) and other monitoring devices and programs to stop offenders from drunk driving while awaiting trial.  She also states that she will work to reduce the huge case backlog.  “It is her compassion and experience that makes Yvonne the best candidate for District Attorney of the 34th Judicial District, which encompasses the counties of El Paso, Hudspeth, and Culberson.”

esperanza

Jaime Esparza is the incumbent and is currently serving his sixth term for El Paso, Culberson, and Hudspeth Counties, having been in office since 1993.  Mr. Esparza is a 1979 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and, in 1983, earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Houston Law Center. He was licensed to practice law in 1983 and is Board Certified in Criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.You can view his webpage here.  Jaime has most recently been in the news because of the Daniel Villegas wrongful conviction case, a case he has vowed to retry. “Experience + Leadership = Justice.”

Lenny

Leonard Morales started his career as a both a line officer and JAG with a mixture of active duty and reserve time. After 25 years of service he retired from the U.S. Army in 2014.  Currently he works cases before the State, Federal and Military Courts Martial for all services. He has argued before the appellate courts and has represented people accused of murders, intoxicated manslaughter, sexual assaults, drug conspiracy and domestic violence. You can view his webpage here.  Leonard’s biggest focus is DWI reform with stricter policies for drunk drivers. “A new vision and new direction for our community.”

This is a hard one for us to call.  Six terms in office is a LONG time to be DA and may have lead to some complacency.  Yvonne Rosales has been a lawyer for a number of years and has some good ideas about making El Paso better. Leonard Morales appears to have the most varied resume and his experience with the military could provide some added benefits to El Paso and how it deals with what is happening with the military personnel from Fort Bliss.

Got an opinion on who would be the best DA?  Luckily you have a way of making it know – VOTE!

You can find your voting station by clicking here.

Pictures curtsy the individual candidate sites. 

 

 

COUNTY TAX ASSESSOR-COLLECTOR

This is a 3 way race between SIRIA ROCHA  (127), RUBEN P. GONZALEZ (126), GREGORY XAVIER GONZALEZ (125).

Siria

Siria Rocha began her professional career in the public sector working at the County Attorney’s office where she served in various roles, made presentations, was instrumental in the recovery of “Hot Check Dollars” for merchants and the establishment of the “Million Dollars” award for collections.  She also worked as Chief Deputy Tax Assessor Collector, managing over 72 employees, overseeing a multi-million dollar budget, and assisted in focusing the Tax Assessor Collector office as dedicated to customer service.  You can read her webpage here.  We’re unclear as to what her vision for the office is as her page “Siria Rocha’s Vision for Tax Assessor Collector’s Office” is completely blank. “Siria Rocha stands ready to serve her community as County Tax Assessor Collector.”

Ruben

Ruben Gonzalez is the incumbent.  After his military service, he went to work with Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, rising through the ranks to Regional Manager. In March 2015 he was appointed to the position by the Commissioner’s Court after the current tax assessor announced his retirement.  You can view his web page here.   Gonzalez wants to streamline the process for title and vehicle registration, modernize the office by using electronic reporting, and provide kiosks at County Tax offices that will allow people to quickly pay their fines. “Working for TxDMV for 38 years, Ruben knows and understands the importance of efficiency, effectiveness and time management within the office environment, which results in improved quality service to taxpayers.”

Gregory

Gregory Xavier  is currently pursuing his bachelor degree in psychology and sociology while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Gregory is fluent in English and Spanish and has been working at the County Tax Assessor Collector Office for over 4 years. You can view his webpage here.  Xavier believes that their website needs to be updated and that customer services needs to be a priority (although he gives no details on how he would do this). “As a young and charismatic professional, Gregory will bring new and innovative ideas to the County Tax Assessor Collector Office parallel to the community’s needs.”

First of all, Bravo to Xavier for entering the race – El Paso could definitely use more young people who are interested in serving their community.  That being said, he is running against 2 other candidates who have more experience and, let’s face it, time.  Rocha has more varied experience and has also worked as the Chief Deputy Tax Assessor Collector.  Gonzalez has spent his entire career in the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles and his stance appears to be “the County Commissioner’s selected me last year, so I’m obviously qualified for the job”.  If we were picking, we would go with Siria Rocha.

Have you voted yet?  Get out there and VOTE!

You can find your voting station by clicking here.

Pictures curtsy the individual candidate sites.