Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Replacements

Jim Tolbert (Left) - Michael Apodaca (Right)
Following the resignation of Rep Romero, now council has to look forward to determining his replacement.

After watching ABC 7 Xtra the other night City Rep Noe is apparently in no big hurry to get a replacement for District 2 which blows my mind considering District 2 hasn't been satisfied with the voice they had for several months now. Why anyone would want to prolong their lack of representation is beyond me.

For some reason Rep Acosta and Rep Noe made the conversation about something as basic as constituent issues. Sure you can get a staffer to handle that shit, and District 2's staffer is one of the best. She's been there since Texas was in the confederacy. That isn't the point.

Its the lack of a voice and the lack of a vote.

The election to replace Romero should be an imperative for members of council if for no other reason that to ensure they have a voice and to take steps to regain the confidence of the public.

Any who, let me say that much like David K, I think Jim Tolbert is a great guy. He has already announced that he is running for the seat and that has been pretty clear the minute Romero started getting into trouble. He has long been a passionate advocate for his community and is interested in doing what is right.

And when David K came up with another conspiracy theory that alleged that Tolbert was put up to doing the ethics complaint and even came up with a snazzy new name for what I guess he thinks is a new faction, Tolbert was quick to correct David K and make him set the record straight.

That being said, I don't think he's the odds-on favorite to win the election. I guess there is a perception that because he came in second last time that he will be the favorite this time.

No two elections are alike and I think one thing people need to understand is that there will likely be some different candidates in the race this go-around. Any number of those folks could change the dynamic completely because Tolbert still have one problem.

Developers.

He's not their choice and so that means there is a lot of campaign money on the table.

Then there is the Latino vote to consider. Yes, Susie Byrd is white and represented the area for a long time. But Romero was largely elected of the strength of the Latino vote.

Which brings me to the name everyone else is talking about... Michael Apodaca.

Apodaca also ran in the same election and had a respectable showing for having almost no money and in a race full of people that honestly had no business running for office. If the race doesn't have a ton of candidates like it did last time, and if Apodaca ends up with some money, then frankly Apodaca is the guy to beat.

Tolbert is wrangling support everywhere he can right now but the race doesn't really start until council sets a timeline.

Apodaca, like everyone else, wasn't expecting the resignation when it came. So he hasn't made up his mind if he's running or not. But if he does, he's got a better shot than he did last time.

You know who doesn't have a shot?

Adam Gurrola.

I don't know if he's entertaining the idea of running because I haven't spoken to him about it yet - but her shouldn't.

Gurrola is a great guy. Its rare to find that passion and commitment to community in such a young guy. But the recall thing really hurt him. He allowed himself to get pushed around and intimidated out of the recall effort.

In fact, had the news media followed up on why he dropped out, I can guarantee you that Romero would've had even more public perception problems on his hands and some big shots in town would've looked really bad.

But the reality is Gurrola was given an at-bat in a game where they play hard ball and he never took the bat off his shoulder.

One day that guy is going to run a huge non-profit and do great things for the community, but public policy just isn't his arena.

There are more then a few people that are interested in the seat and once the filing window opens then you'll have a better idea of who is going to do what.

Tolbert is smart to start early. Its going to be helpful to his effort.

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