Richard Cortez officially kicks-off campaign, local leaders still unsure of electability

McAllen – Former McAllen Mayor and former District 1 Commissioner Richard Cortez officially kicked-off his bid to become the next Hidalgo County Judge. Speaking in front of supporters, Cortez assured them that he’ll work to become a County Judge that citizens would be proud of.  Current Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia will not be seeking re-election.

Speaking with the Rio Grande Guardian, Cortez offered his plans on dealing with county-wide issues, one which includes his support of a highly unpopular proposal.  For the much maligned courthouse project, Cortez assures that he’ll see that it’s built on time and on budget. In speaking about the UT-RGV School of Medicine, Cortez would like to see the school fully funded. Currently, legislation in Austin have left the UTRGV Medical School with reduced funding. Proposition 1, which sought to establish a health care taxing district, would have offered additional financial support to the medical school. At this time, Cortez hasn’t made it clear whether he would support a new health care proposition.

Despite the fanfare, there are some local leaders that are still un-sold on Cortez’s appeal in a county-wide race, one official being current County Judge Ramon Garcia.

Continue reading “Richard Cortez officially kicks-off campaign, local leaders still unsure of electability”

Health Care District back on Hidalgo County Agenda

Prior attempts at establishing a healthcare taxing district have failed twice with Hidalgo County voters.

EDINBURG – A highly controversial subject is expected to be discussed once more if agenda items hold true at Tuesdays Commissioners Court meeting.  Item 8-A on the Hidalgo County agenda calls for a discussion over a “Health Care Funding District.” Previous attempts at creating at Healthcare (Hospital) District have failed twice with Hidalgo County voters, with the most recent 2016 Proposition 1 being rejected by 72% of voters. Continue reading “Health Care District back on Hidalgo County Agenda”

2017 McAllen mayoral race had a 42 percent drop in turnout since 1997

Othal Brand Sr’s 1997 runner-up vote totals were greater than Jim Darling’s winning totals in 2013 and 2017.

McAllen – Around 88 percent of eligible registered McAllen voters were not moved to vote in last Saturdays mayoral election, according to the unofficial election results provided by the City Secretaries Office.  Ultimately, their passiveness proved costly to challenger Othal Brand Jr, who had spent nearly two times as much as the Darling campaign, in effort to convince McAllen voters to elect him over incumbent Jim Darling.  Darling was declared the winner of the highly contested race with a comfortable margin of 4,409 votes to Brand’s 3061 tally.  While other traditional media outlets were quick to congratulate voters that turned out, a lingering question remained.  How could a city of over 134,000, with approximately 66,000 registered voters, have a major election decided by a very few?  Since 1997, the City of McAllen as seen a sharp decline in voter turnout for local races.

Continue reading “2017 McAllen mayoral race had a 42 percent drop in turnout since 1997”

Lack of Confidence for Hidalgo County Judge Race Leaves Door Open For Wildcard Candidates

Edinburg – After being elected three times as Hidalgo County Judge, Ramon Garcia has finally decided to give up the gavel.  Garcia had cited interest in returning to law full time as primary reason to not seek a re-election bid. Despite Garcia’s intent on whether to run, a slew of established challengers hovered from above, seeking their own bid on a highly coveted position. Continue reading “Lack of Confidence for Hidalgo County Judge Race Leaves Door Open For Wildcard Candidates”

Trump’s Budget Cuts May Force Hidalgo County Agencies to Trim the Fat.

This week, U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar (D) revealed that President Donald Trumps proposed budget cuts would greatly affect government assistance in the Rio Grande Valley, specifically within Hidalgo County.  The McAllen Monitor, which picked up on the budget cuts, provided a list of agencies affected, placing emphasis on Community Development Block Grants, and funds made available to Hidalgo County Community Service Agency to provide job assistance and other forms of aid to the community.  With these cuts came the enduring narrative that Trump is an out of touch oppressor of the poor and vulnerable.

Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia, in a quote provided to the The Monitor said of the budget cuts:

“It will hurt the poorest of the poor.”

Garcia continued by demonstrating his concern for the poor and elderly, who he believed these cuts are specifically targeting.  However, Garcia showed little concern for the 2016 disastrous Health Care Tax Proposal, which if passed, would have greatly affected the county’s most vulnerable from paying more on their property tax, and potentially losing their homes.

It’s ironic that Hidalgo County, which has historically demonstrated to operate on a policy of crony dealing and wasteful and in effective spending, suddenly is the moral authority on government spending. Trump’s proposed cuts allows us to reevaluate the operations of the agencies that receive them, and hold these agencies accountable for how these funds are being used. Continue reading “Trump’s Budget Cuts May Force Hidalgo County Agencies to Trim the Fat.”

No Shame! Healthcare Tax Masterminds Meet in Edinburg

Edinburg – Today, 3 local Mayors and hosted a luncheon at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.  Topic of discussion was how the new School of Medicine would benefit the health care industry in Hidalgo County.  However it didn’t take long until true motivations were revealed, and that being how wonderful a Hidalgo County Healthcare Tax would be on tax paying citizens of Hidalgo County. Continue reading “No Shame! Healthcare Tax Masterminds Meet in Edinburg”