The filing deadline for the race for District 2 to replace Larry Romero is quickly approaching.
So far there are a few candidates in the race and I am normally not one who enjoys seeing a small kindergarten-size field of candidates for a race, but this is a different scenario.
Turn-out is going to be really tiny, and so right now you have one candidate that has all the campaign talent behind him, Jim Tolbert. So if the election were held today he'd likely win without a run-off.
And guess what? As the campaign goes forward that is more and more like to be the case with each passing day because none of the other candidates in the field have any real campaign talent behind them.
Tolbert is a good guy, heart is in the right place, and he's a smart guy.
But he shouldn't walk away from this campaign without a rigorous debate about the issues. The conversation needs to be more than conservation. It needs to be about a range of issues affecting the City of El Paso right now. And frankly from what little I've seen of his competition, that is exactly what is going to happen.
No one is entitled to this seat and I'm hoping one or more good, qualified candidates with ideas about government and the direction of the city get in the race. The district will benefit from it. And it is what is sorely needed in D2 right now and to a greater extent, it is what is needed in El Paso right now especially given the current make-up of council.
And honestly, right now the field of candidates is basically made up of one-trick ponies.
Don't expect whoever the person elected to the D2 office is to have magic beans that will change city council in a meaningful way. Its just not likely to happen. But it is the opportunity to have the city move in the right direction.
D2 needs to elect someone who understands one very important point - city council needs people with the vision that El Paso is more than just a collection of 8 city districts. The protect-my-district syndrome is rampant on council and we need leader who understand that El Paso needs to have a regional relationship. Yes, some on council think that means focusing on the relationship with Juarez.
Those people are stupid.
Having a regional relationship means focusing on where El Paso fits into the scheme of things here on the US regional side first. Focusing on making transportation and economic development an effort for the entire region in the El Paso area. Sure, you need to advocate for your district, but you also need to think about the entire region.
Its like baseball, everyone gets an at-bat and a chance at individual achievement. But the also play for a team.
You'd think a bunch of people who paid for a shiny new ballpark would understand that.