El Paso has a history of electing old white guys. That isn't anything new for the Sun City.
Dee Margo's non-announcement announcement was typical Dee Margo. I want to announce, but not really officially announce. Essentially he wants to make sure that other people that the money guys might back won't get in the race.
Margo's a different animal and it doesn't surprise me in the least that there will be a desire to overstate his candidacy. So let me tell you some real problems for Margo that people are trying to gloss over.
First, lets talk about math. There aren't a lot of Republicans in El Paso. Sure, the municipal electorate is a bit more conservative in general than other elections, but it doesn't even begin to close the gap for Margo in a very partisan town like El Paso.
Wait, I know what you're thinking. This is a municipal election and party affiliation means nothing.
Hahaha silly goose. Its an entirely different animal when you're an old white guy who is KNOWN as being a Republican. He's been a Republican state representative for the westside and has a voting record. Do you guys not see how badly the GOP brand is going to be damaged by Trump's presidential bid? Are you guys seriously that out of touch?
So before you all get all excited over-stating Margo's chances, here are some important things to keep in mind.
#1- Margo has already lost on a race more comparable to the mayors race and he lost decisively. And that was BEFORE he had a voting record.
#2 - When Margo did win it was under the most narrow of circumstances in a gubernatorial year in a district carved out for him to win.
#3 - The westside votes at a higher proportion than the rest of town, but you'd have to be ignorant to believe that the westside alone carries any citywide race. Especially when you consider that...
#4 - Ted Houghton is also an old white guy. He would also do well on the westside. But for the sake of argument, lets say that Margo's name ID gives him the edge on the westside and he takes it 60%-40%. Thats only 60% of the vote on the mighty westside? That severely limits his chances because lets be real...how do EITHER of them relate to people in the near east, far east, central, or the valley? I don't think either of them do that very well.
And don't underestimate the value of appealing to those parts of town just because you think they don't matter in election math. They do. Especially because the valley and central vote so solidly Democrat. You think they won't remember Margo? Shapleigh is also an old white guy. But he is a guy that can relate better because he speaks Spanish fluently. Houghton and Margo sound like bad Tommy Lee Jones impersonators.
And the two will duke it out over who the other rich white guys end up funding. That opens the door for a Latino candidate. But it has to be one that is universally liked considering we tend to be very tribal in the Latino community and it has to be someone who can likely self-fund a race or has a good household name.
Which leads me to the big rumor we have all been hearing but no one has really taken very seriously lately... Estela Casas.
Someone like her would be ideal because like Mayor Leeser, she's a household name and doesn't need to introduce herself to voters. She's relatable, Latina, bilingual, smart, poised, etc...
She'd win hands down. What's Forma gonna do, negative campaign Estela Freaking Casas?
Margo's big problem is what a lot of people in the GOP whisper but won't say aloud...he's not well liked. Its the Theresa Caballero rule of politics, before they vote for you, they must first like you. He's going to suffer the same fate as Steve Ortega. A big name everyone knows that the electorate doesn't particularly like (although I personally like Steve O).