Friday, September 23, 2016
Depth of D3 - Two Really Good Candidates & Jaime Barceleau
I don't recall how long its been since that has been the case.
Previously District 3 residents would at best have one clear choice and then Lozano. So that is why the races where never close and why its been so long since they had to choose between more than one candidate.
The quality of candidate for District 3 has improved by leaps and bounds in this election cycle and is going to give District 3 residents something to think about come election time. Essentially the race looks like it is going to come down to two really smart, qualified, dynamic, experienced, and educated community leaders and Jaime Barceleau.
Jaime Barceleau, who is using the EPISD Bond Election as a platform to launch his political career and probably learn how to campaign, was the first candidate out of the gate. He is essentially known for being District Clerk Norma Favela's "plus one" at political events and is a self-described "conservative" (along with some other interesting self-descriptions).
But recently Cassandra Brown announced her candidacy for the D3 seat. She's previously worked at city hall for both Steve Ortega and Susie Byrd. She currently works in the employment development sector and has a Master's Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. She displays a pretty deep knowledge of the machinations of city government and is the President of the Rosedale Neighborhood Association. She's married with two children and is in her late 20's.
Word on the street is that another candidate will be getting in the race. He's in his mid 20's, an attorney and has done a lot of government work. He's another candidate with a strong command of city and local government and has an impressive resume of community involvement. From what I hear, he will be announcing in the next couple of weeks.
Back when El Paso faced the serious Brain Drain problem, these are two young professionals that would've left El Paso in their rear-view mirror. Thankfully for the community's sake, they haven't and are choosing public service when they could be choosing careers that pay them both boatloads of cash.
Its obviously still early and there could be some other candidates that jump in the race but its unlikely any will join the Brown and the lawyer as top-tier candidates. At this point, again still early in the race, its hard to see how Barceleau makes a run-off.
Sure, he's going to have a lot of money to run, but he's the guy that is pushing the bond. That bond is going to raise your taxes in EPISD by 15%. The self-described "conservative" is going to have a hard time explaining to voters why he raised, or attempted to raise if the bond fails, their taxes by 15%. That is not going to play well in areas around Cielo Vista, which Barceleau probably presumes is his base.
I think Barceleau also has an over-inflated sense of name ID. I think he believes voters know who he is. And that is the problem when you exist in El Paso's political class, its easy to confuse being known as Norma's plus one amongst politicos with name ID in among the electorate. Essentially all three candidates are going to start off with basically the same amount of notoriety among the electorate, which is basically none.
So all three have the opportunity to define themselves to the electorate. But only one wants to raise property taxes by 15% for most people that live in District 3...
Posted by The Lion Star at 9:51 AM