I know everyone is paying attention to the shit show that is the mayor's race, but since there are no candidates worth a damn in that race, and since we have a weak mayor form of government anyway, the real races to watch are the city council races.
And its a lot of interesting drama when you think about it. D3 and D4 (Eastside/Ascarate and Northeast) are open seats. D2 (central) features a candidate that rode into office on an ethics complaint and is now the subject of an investigation by the Texas Rangers against a field of candidates.
The winners of those races will do more to change the direction of council than a mayor will. Personally I think the qualities to look for in this race, especially given the carnival freak show we have at council now, are financial management experience and temperament.
Financial management is pretty obvious, we have big dollar issues facing us and we need to make sure we have people sitting at the table that know what the hell they are doing when it comes to money.
But more important than ever is temperament. These people have big personalities on council and their bickering has gone public on more than one occasion. Its an embarrassment to El Paso when they do, but frankly though couldn't give a shit less about that if they tried.
I'm not saying you want people that will go along to get along. And I'm not saying that you don't want a strong advocate for your district either. But what I am saying is that you don't want an asshole elected. Council has reached their quota of assholes and adding another one isn't going to make things any better. So when you are watching forums and media interviews of candidates, pay attention to who is being an asshole and think twice about voting for them.
Also, pay attention to voting history. People that really care about their communities are regular voters. You have a few people that should have long voting histories because of their age and haven't even voted in a city election. That is not a good situation.