In the worst-kept secret in El Paso politics this side of County Judge Escobar's run for County Judge, City Rep Steve Ortega took the official plunge to run for Mayor of El Paso.
I still don't like the timing of it, but I have to admit I was wrong. I thought there would be light turn-out especially the day after an election. I was wrong. It was packed. Standing room only.
A friend asked me and a buddy how the event was and my buddy made a great observation. It was pretty much a cut-and-paste of Beto O'Rourke's announcement.
Had the same energy, same feel, same level of enthusiasm and excitement. I came away feeling like yet again, the faction of young progressives are poised to come away with another win. Based on the overwhelming support of the propositions, I honestly don't see any major threats to Ortega on the political landscape at this time.
What I found interesting about the crowd at the event was that it only had a smattering of the usual people you see at political events. The rest of the crowd was made up of people you don't see at those events. The same kind of people that came out for Beto's announcement.
And now he's Congressman-elect.
County Judge Escobar spoke and then introduced the guy who was gonna introduce Representative Ortega. Don't remember who he was and he was up there for far too long. (Nobody cares much about the introduction. They really just want to hear from the candidate. He seemed like a nice guy but his speech was all over the place. Something about USC, something about parks and powerlines, blah blah blah...Escobar should've introduced Ortega and moved the show along.)
When Ortega spoke the crowd was very enthusiastic. He wore a suit, which since he's a married guy now I'm sure the new wife made him buy suits. He was pretty famous for only having one or two suit coats if memory serves.
He look and spoke like a Mayor. Its easy to forget he's only 36.
The race is his to lose, and I don't think thats going to happen.
Video of speech and post-announcement interview to follow...