Tuesday, August 7, 2018

District 5: Shallow Waters

Politically speaking Eastsiders have a reputation of being fat, dumb, and happy. I don't mean they are actually fat and dumb, I mean that in generally they don't have much to complain about. Generally speaking you have a lot of younger families that tend to be upper middle class and more educated.

Their persona is very different than say the westside, where everyone pretty much thinks their entitled to every thing and the Northeast, where everyone seems to hate living there and complain about everything.

Like people in Fabens.

I'd like to be able to give some in-depth analysis about this race but frankly there's not much there. And trust me when I tell you, there really isn't much there.

District 5 is hands-down the weakest field of candidates, even by El Paso standards. There are four candidates and between the four of them, they have almost no voting history.

John B. Hogan is an older guy at 62. He's only voted in two general elections (2016, 2017) and the Democratic Primary (2018). Thats it. No other voting history in Texas. That surprising because seniors usually have a much thicker voting history. I presume he voted for Fenenbock in that 2018 primary election because I've seen him on social media and that guy is no Democrat. He's a Trump supporter and pretty conservative. He's campaign page has a lot of info about his views on issues, which is a good thing. He's pretty much ahead of the rest of the field in terms of policy. So far he's the only one running that looks like he has anything in the neighborhood of a platform.

Kizito Ekechukwu has apparently never voted. There is zero voting history for that guy. I hate when people run for office that have never even voted. I don't know how they can ever expect anyone to take them seriously. I thought this guy was like a motivational speaker or something, but his paperwork says he's an auditor. Don't know anything else about the guy because, well he doesn't appear to have been involved in anything political yet, though he's only 28 so that isn't uncommon.

Benjamin Miranda, Jr is the only identified Republican in the field. He also has the most voting history of any of the shallow pool of candidates. He's about my age and he's voted in four elections. Thats really poor voting history, but hey its more than everyone else. He's voted in two generals and two primaries, both of which were Republican primaries.

Jason Osborne, not to be confused with the cool spy movie character from The Borne Identity franchise, is the latest to file. Osborne appears to have voted in one election, that being the 2018 primary. He voted Democrat in that primary. I got nothing on this guy other than what is on his paperwork. He lists "Security Consultant" as his occupation. His application says he's been at his current address in the district for 4 years, but not long enough to change his cell phone to a "915" area code. He is 35 years old.

Eastsiders are hungry for a good candidate and from what I've heard from a lot of them so far is that they are unimpressed with the field, those that even know who is running. If someone with any amount of name ID jumps in the race they will likely jump to the front.

There have been at least two really good candidates that were going to run and ultimately decided not to run. Both are young, educated, professionals with degrees. Both very photogenic, both Latino/a candidates with experience in government. Frankly, either would have won in a cake walk.

Do you know why they both chose not to take their talent to city hall?

Money. They simply couldn't afford the salary.

Its really popular for people to be against a decent salary for elected officials. But your city council reps are likely the ones that have the most impact on your daily life. And we don't pay them a decent wage, so that is why we have the type of people we have on council. The only people that can afford to serve on council are the independently wealthy who usually have business interests that take them away from the office, or people that are retired and have a second income. They have the time to commit to the office, but neither group really look like your average El Pasoan.

If there was ever a field of candidates that demonstrates why you need a wage that can attract good talent to city council, District 5 is it. There were two candidates with experience in government, managing big budgets, managing public funds, and understand the complexities of policy. If you were hiring someone to do the job, they'd be your finalists.

But the electorate doesn't want to pay for quality talent.

And here we are with the shallow pool of candidates.

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