Monday, March 2, 2015

A Full Slate - Municipal Races for 2015 Part 1

Well the filing deadline has passed for the El Paso municipal elections and there weren't really any surprises. The open seat has several candidates and the races with incumbents each have an opponent.

For the incumbents, their opponents all filed papers within the last two days of the filing period. One of them was trying to file with petitions but couldn't get enough signatures. I'm not sure if its because the process was started late or if there just wasn't enough people to sign the petition. At any rate, the candidates that filed against the incumbents at the last minute aren't really well-known in the districts, with the possible exception of Rosa Cabrera. Except that I think more people know her by Arrellano.

As I mentioned before, she's the most credible of the last-minute candidates and is the only opponent of an incumbent that I'd classify as a credible candidate. She's got issues she'll have to deal with and overcome, but she's the best of the bunch in terms of challengers to incumbents. She's challenging Representative Noe for the District 5 seat.

Strongest Asset: Her experience running a non-profit organization, her education, notoriety (has a Spanish language radio program), and she's attractive.

Biggest Issue: Her politics. She's very conservative in a town that has pockets of conservatives but is overwhelmingly Democratic.

Biggest Unknown: Her ability to raise money.

Over in District 6, Representative Ordaz drew Mike Pickett as an opponent. His best shot at the seat was running when it was an open seat and capitalizing on the Pickett name even though he's not related to Representative Joe Pickett, and really only if that race was run in November as opposed to last July. If memory serves he couldn't run last July because he didn't meet the eligibility requirements in terms of length of time in the district. Representative Ordaz hasn't pissed anyone off. She's an alum of Montwood High School which plays very well with folks in the north-of-the-freeway portion of District 6. She won every precinct in the district in the last race against a guy who was a prominent business owner, younger than Pickett, put money in the face and is bilingual. An unknown Anglo with not much time in the district is going to have a very hard time winning votes south of the freeway. Ordaz was very strong in the barrio portion of the District 6. Pickett certainly has a very steep hill to climb.

Strongest Asset: The Pickett last name. He might get a few people to vote for him that think he's Joe Pickett. Maybe.

Biggest Issue: Not much time in the district, no base of support, ability to raise money, and facing one of the more popular members of council.

Biggest Unknown: Who is supporting him and knowledge of city issues.

So does District 8 challenger Josh Dagda. He's challenging Representative Niland for her seat. He's been an activist on a few issues, but most prominently for marijuana legalization. He's young and I'm told he's bilingual which makes sense because his campaign website indicates that he was born in El Paso and he grew up in Juarez. His website says he's a small business owner as well. Some folks that know him reached out to me and said he's very bright and articulate and is very likeable. Niland might be the toughest campaigner of the incumbents that are up for reelection in this cycle. She's by far the best at raising campaign money.

Strongest Asset: Smart, young, and articulate guy. He's an activist so that tells me he's passionate and that is a quality you can't buy or teach a candidate. He hangs with a click of activists here in town that might help him out with the grassroots part of his campaign.

Biggest Issue: The issues he's advocated for aren't necessarily ones that will be helpful to his candidacy. Lets be real, being young and an advocate for marijuana legalization comes with its own set of problems. He'll have to get over some stereotypes in an area of town that is pretty conservative. He's had some legal issues in the past that are going to come up and he'll have to do his best to explain them. Even grassroots efforts cost money. He's gonna really be outgunned in that department.

Biggest Unknown: What his message is going to be. Based on what I've seen on his campaign site it looks like he's going to be talking about "decades of neglect". Not sure how effective it is going to be to argue that the westside doesn't get its fair share.

District 1 candidate profiles coming soon.


Good job said...

I like the analysis and in my opinion right on.

Looking foward to the next assessment.

Anonymous said...

can you please investigate why the Hr manager from tornillo resigned today? alot of people were in shock because she has been a great asset to the district, all of the employees liked her except those that were jealous of her.

James Peinado said...

Any sort of move to vote out the incumbents is a good one. So I'm definitely for the underdogs in all three of these races!

The Lion Star said...

Why? Because they're "elitists"?

Do you know enough about all of the challengers to confidently say they'd do better than the incumbents?

I am actually a constituent of District 6 so I'd love to hear you elaborate.