Ciro Rodriguez Says He’s The Fighter South Texas Needs
San Antonio, Texas — Ciro Rodriguez spent time during the 1990s and early 2000s serving the people of South Texas in Congress as a Democrat, and most recently lost his seat in 2010 to Republican Francisco “Quico” Canseco (who declined an interview with NewsTaco). Now, Rodriguez is hoping to first beat fellow Democratic candidate for the 23rd district Pete Gallego, and then take on Canseco in November. Although the whispers among the political caste in Texas favor Gallego, Rodriguez is coming at this primary election with everything he’s got.
A recent chat with the seasoned congressional candidate started off with his insistence that the current political districts, including his own, are not beneficial to Latinos in Texas. “We have a very discriminatory map as far as I’m concerned that was done deliberately and maliciously to discriminate and basically cut us out,” he told NewsTaco. A side effect of the confusion and complicated political districting is that Latino voters may be frustrated when their polling places move, or confused about their district.
Rodriguez says up front that he has already represented 22 of the 29 counties in the district that stretches from far West Texas to South Texas. He told us that, much like his first foray into politics as a school board member, this time around at 65 years old, he is running because he wants to make a difference.
“Now, more than ever, there are two visions for this country. One with access to health care, Medicare, Medicaid, with pensions and Social Security, and one without,” he said at his South San Antonio campaign headquarters.
Rodriguez spoke of his districts with the kind of familiarity and ease that borders on the familial. when asked what were the most important issues for this district, he had trouble settling on one, but did mention the economy, energy (everything from oil and gas to solar and wind), as well as tourism and trade. He spoke of national parks in the district, the effect of healthcare and prescription costs on constituents of the district, infrastructure investments, education, and defense and military interests there.
In this case, Rodriguez points to his seniority in Congress as a pivotal reason he should be reelected; that way he can hit the ground running. He wants to characterize himself as a fighter, a someone’s got to stand up against the anti-healthcare, antisocial security crowd, but more importantly, as the only one who can.
“Making changes requires rancorous types of engagement. This is the time to stand up, this is the time for people to come to the plate,” he told NewsTaco. “If you look at the candidates that are out there, I have the best experience.”