A longtime fixture in the El Paso Democratic Party Rita Sarinana has indicated she will tender her resignation as a Precinct Chair for the Ranchland area. Ayle Sarinana, Rita's daughter, informed me of her mother's intentions yesterday evening while I was at Carolina.
Sarinana has served as a Precinct Chair and delegate to county and state conventions. She campaigned for Republican Dan Chavez in the 2010 election against Jose Rodriguez and is supporting Chavez again in this election. Sarinana is also now supporting the Republican candidate for Congress What's Her Name.
El Paso County Commissioner Anna Perez says that her office at the County recently received a robo-call featuring a recorded message from Rita Sarinana in support of What's Her Name.
She is also featured in this commercial supporting the Republican candidate after previously supporting Congressman Reyes during the Primary Election.
El Paso Democratic Party Chairman Rick Melendrez visited Carolina Center on Saturday and saw that she was poll sitting for the Republican candidates. Witness state that Melendrez indicated that he was going to take action to remove her as the Precinct Chair for doing so.
Carolina Center is the early voting location that Sarinana most-often frequents. She also teaches citizenship classes at the location. Rita Sarinana is a member of the El Paso Democratic Party Hall of Fame. There is no indication as to any impact her resignation and support of Republican candidates will have on her status in the Hall of Fame, if any.
Melendrez also took strong action against Representatives Marquez and Gonzalez for their support of a Republican over a Democratic candidate.
The vacancy means that the Chairman can appoint a replacement to serve out the rest of Sarinana's term.
Since Sarinana has served the Party for so many years I wanted to get her side of the story as to why she is now leaving the Party to become a Republican. She expressed frustration at the fact that after serving the Party for so many years that no one called to check on her or visited her the last couple of times she was hospitalized.
She felt unappreciated and the Republicans appreciated her. Sources indicate the reason she previously supported Dan Chavez was due to an alleged insult to her from a family member of Senator Jose Rodriguez.