Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Conventions Feature SDEC Battles

Dr. Anna Perez (L) Lyda Ness-Garcia (R)
The convention of the Texas Democratic Party will feature match ups of political battles for the State Democratic Executive Committee Man and Woman.

The Hillary delegation has the most people and make up about 66% of the El Paso delegation. But the Hillary candidates for SDEC couldn't be more polarizing if they tried.

Othon Medina and Dr. Anna Perez are their candidates for the positions.

They will be facing Casey Antonio Williams and Lyda Ness-Garcia.

For some background, Othon Medina has a hard time getting along with people. He's constantly in some sort of dispute with someone and once had to be removed from a stage at a convention for his behavior. In fact, he's known across the state in Latino Democratic circles and its not in a good way. Its a terrible reflection on El Paso.

Dr. Anna Perez and Medina are a couple. She was at one point an interim superintendent at Ysleta ISD and currently sits on the Ysleta Education Foundation.  She's the current treasurer of the Tea-jano Democrats. She got some notoriety at the County Convention this year because she was attempting to fraudulently complete delegates for individuals that were not in attendance at the convention.

She was caught and the issue was raised to Party leadership and so she wasn't successful at getting those individuals in as delegates.

In the past Medina has been known to pay for the expenses of the trip to the convention for people that didn't have the means to attend in exchange for their support.

Its the ultimate pay-to-play scheme.

Noel Rosenbaum from the West El Paso Democrats was going to run but she has stepped back in favor of Ness-Garcia's bid.

Ness-Garcia has a lot of support from members of the Hillary delegation because she took on Marisa Marquez for the state rep seat and had a chance to get to know a lot of the people that are Hillary delegates. Being in a race with Marquez damn sure ain't easy and Ness-Garcia earned their respect for taking her on. Ness-Garcia is an attorney in private practice and Chair of the Progressive Democrats of El Paso.

Othon Medina (L) Antonio Williams (R)
Antonio Williams is a member of several Democratic organizations in town and was one of the founding members of the El Paso Young Stonewall Democrats. He is also an attorney in private practice and focuses on immigration law. He is considered one of the bright young minds of the Party.

So the race for SDEC is not only Old Guard versus Liberals - establishment versus "outsiders" - but its also old versus new. The El Paso Democratic Party has not been known for its ability to draw in new members nor for its organization.

SDEC's play a key role in representing El Paso to the rest of the state in the Democratic Party. Its time El Paso got passed the old way we have been defined - as cranky, obstinate, and backwards and continue the work that other SDEC's have started toward moving the community forward.

If you ask me, the difference in the candidates couldn't be more stark. Some want it just to have a title and a platform. Others like Lyda Ness-Garcia and Antonio Williams are workers.

And that is the difference.

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