The idea isn't a novel concept, its done in several major cities including New York, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Baltimore, and Houston among others.
But it got me curious about the impact of partisan elections (hypothetically) on the mayoral race. As we all know El Paso is a Democratic city - overwhelmingly. Parties are about governing values - which is the primary way in which they are distinct.
One candidate in particular has had my interest, David Saucedo, because of his love for ultra right-wing conservative Rick Santorum. He was also the person who was the driving force behind bringing Lou Holtz to El Paso for a fundraiser following some very controversial remarks about immigration.
I checked all the voting records of the announced or rumored mayoral candidates for the upcoming municipal election. Basically there was only one surprise - David Saucedo. I wasn't surprised that Dee Margo's voting record is solidly Republican, and I wasn't surprised that Saucedo had voted as a Republican before as well.
But what did surprise me was just HOW Republican Saucedo's voting record really is. The bottom line here is that Saucedo has the most solidly Republican voting record of any candidate in the race with the exception of former Republican State Rep Dee Margo.
Seriously, its not even close.
Here is a screen shot of his voting record. I highlighted the times he voted Republican in red. As you can see, in ever election since he was old enough to vote, Saucedo has voted Republican. The races that have no highlight are general elections or non-partisan elections.
So he's being portrayed as a "young progressive Latino" to voters by his campaign team. Well good luck with that. Based on his voting record (and attempt at bringing an anti-immigrant, pro-Trump speaker to El Paso), he's exactly as progressive as Dee Margo.
The values he and Dee Margo vote for are the values they would govern by. The same as any solidly Democratic mayoral candidate would govern by their party's values.
Lets put this in perspective. Mayor Leeser is often mentioned as a "Republican Mayor". Here's his voting record. I highlighted all the partisan elections he's voted in - blue for the ones he voted Democratic and red for the ones he voted Republican in. Have a look for yourself:
Yeah, you're looking at that correctly. Leeser has only voted in one Republican primary (that was the
big Tea Party revolt by the way) and has been solidly Democratic for at least the last decade.
The talk of City Rep Cortney Niland running for mayor is growing louder and louder as well. So if you look at her voting record, its almost identical to Mayor Leaser's.
But just to demonstrate just exactly how Republican the voting record of Saucedo really is, take a look at Dee Margo's voting record:
Nearly identical to Saucedo's voting record.
So like I said, Saucedo is as progressive as Dee Margo.
Interestingly he was also appointed to the Texas Board of Nursing by Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Texas' party system is a little unique in that you don't register with a party, you are affiliated with a party based on your voting record. So in addition to his solid Republican voting record, the governor felt so confident in Saucedo's Republican values that he appointed him to a board.
I'm still trying to figure out who I'm going to vote for in the mayoral election. There is no one in the current field that I think I could vote for, so #TeamJorge still looks like my alternative.