Change was the main issue at hand for candidates in U.S. Congressional District 15 and 34 at a political forum held on Tuesday, May 15 at South Texas College Mid-Valley. Hosted by the Weslaco Area Chamber of Commerce and the Mid Valley Town Crier, the candidates’ forum gave the public a chance to meet their potential U.S. and State Representative, as well as their potential County Commissioner.
Kicking off the evening were incumbents Joel Quintanilla and Armando Martinez for Hidalgo County Commissioner Pct. 1 and District 39 Texas House Representative, respectively. Although no other opponents in either race were present, Quintanilla and Martinez took the opportunity to give their introduction and answer the prepared questions.
Transportation funding, federal trade and small business legislation were just some of the topics presented to the candidates for U.S. Congressional Districts 15 and 34. Candidates in the District 15 race who participated included David Cantu, Jane Cross, Ruben Ramirez, Dale Brueggemann, Jim Kuiken and Eddie Zamora. David Cantu, Rebecca Cervera and incumbent Ruben Hinojosa were not present.
Candidates for the newly created U.S. Congressional District 34 included Jessica Puente Bradshaw, Salomon Torres, Denise Blanchard, Paul Haring, Ramiro Garza, and Anthony Troiani. Those who did not attend were Adela Garza, Armando Villalobos, Elmo Aycock, Juan Guerra, Steven Shanklin and Filemon Vela.
The newly created district 34 includes Cameron and Willacy counties, and the south part of the Mid Valley area. Cities from San Juan to Mercedes will now have two different representatives in the U.S. Congress as residents south of Business 83 are now a part of District 34, while residents north of Business 83 remain in District 83. Martha Noell, Weslaco Chamber President/CEO, felt it was important to present these candidates to a public who may not even realize they’re in a new district.
“This was an opportunity to inform the residents that Weslaco is now divided in half regarding the U.S. Congressional Districts,” commented Noell. “As a Chamber of Commerce, we also wanted the candidates to address business issues that impact our area, so that was our focus.”
Early voting runs until May 25. Election Day is Tuesday, May 29. For more information on the Weslaco Chamber and its events, visit www.weslaco.com.