Better Candidates = Better Government

El Pasoans don’t vote.

In the most recent mayoral runoff, only 13% of the registered voters cast a ballot.

Yeah, it was a runoff, but it was citywide. That level of participation is not unusual for El Paso. El Pasoans, for the most part, don’t vote.

I know that there are lots of reasons. Lots of us are too busy making a living to pay much attention to politics. Some of us are fatalistically resigned to the the machinations of a self-serving government. We feel like our vote won’t make a difference. Some of us have opted out of the game.

Another reason is that we don’t have great local candidates. Often the candidates aren’t dynamic, or well-spoken, or personable. They lack charisma, or relatability.

A City Council gig is a pretty good job in El Paso. These days it pays about $45,000 a year. That’s pretty good cabbage here in the Mexoplex. And you can probably parlay it into a ride in the parade.

Serving on City Council might not be a lot of work. Except for the once-every-two-weeks City Council meetings, you never see a City Council Representative actually doing anything. I suppose there might be confrontations with angry constituents who can’t get their potholes patched, but there’s probably not too much of that.

And meetings. There’s probably a lot of meetings.

But you’ve got staff. Every City Council Representative has an Executive Assistant to handle the heavy lifting.

So why don’t we have better candidates?

Partly it’s because serving on City Council isn’t a prestigious job in El Paso. Our City Council Representative have a long reputation of selling out the citizens for personal gain, or because they’re confused, or something. Sometimes they reek of unproveable corruption, because no other explanation makes sense.

So let’s up the game. Let’s get better candidates. Candidates more representative of the community.

And then let’s elect them. Let’s vote, and get out the vote. Invite the candidates over to meet your neighbors. Walk them door to door.

Let’s fill our sails with the wind of change. It could happen.

But it won’t happen unless we make it happen.


  1. Two things quickly come to mind. One, it costs way too much money to mount even a token campaign (get the money out of politics), and two, we lack any decent daily news reporting source because the tv stations all suck, radio has given up on offering anything resembling news, and the Times is no longer local.

  2. And I would guess that those reading this article already vote, and try to encourage others…so how to break through the 13% barrier???

  3. We need to put a cap on campaign donations to assure that good people can run without selling their souls to the oligarchs. A big accomplishment in 2020: dirty/dark money donations became an issue that people talked about and media reported on. Remember that Margo got the most $$$,$$$ (~$500K), but he LOST.

    1. He didn’t just lose Kathy…he was obliterated. Leeser mopped the floor with him, then wrung him out and mopped up again. A clear message to Foster and big money that the times they are a changin’.

  4. We had an excellent candidate for Mayor – Veronica Carbajal.
    Explain to me why she did not win.

    1. When the leading candidate does not achieve 50 percent of the cast votes then the top two vote receiving candidates then enter into the run-off election.

      Ms. Carbajal came in third and therefore did not advance to the finals.

  5. There was only one curbside voting location during the runoff, the only safe way to vote right now. And that location was the Coliseum, and I couldn’t get there because of the insane construction fucking up Paisano. Sorry.

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