District 16 Congressional Seat

July 14th there was a victor on the GOP side of the coin. Irene Armendariz-Jackson won the bid to take on current Congressperson Veronica Escobar.

While the media flocked to those that were running on the Democratic side and received plenty of media time. The GOP side didn’t even get mentioned.

Democrats in El Paso have had a run for 55 years, or dominance if you will. Maybe that’s all that is needed to topple the reign. Folks scoffed at this mere “suggestion.”

If you look at the data the GOP they had a record number vote of over 5,000 voters, which shows there’s a favoritism of “change”.

Ms. Veronica Escobar and Irene Armendariz-Jackson

There were Democratic contributors to Irene Armendariz-Jackson campaign, as they may be registered as Democrat, they chose to assist monetarily.

While Ms. Escobar maybe be heavily involved in her party affiliation, there’s a group that she has ignored, El Paso Veterans.

For two years Veronica Escobar has had the opportunity to build on the foundation that her predecessor left behind. She also had the opportunity to sit on the Department of Veterans Affairs, but she has not done either. This is the first time in 24 years that this seat has become empty.

What were the feelings after the polls closed on Tuesday from Veterans? Abandoned and neglected come to mind. Veterans find themselves “fending for themselves,” now more than ever, and are looking elsewhere for representation.

The El Paso Veterans population is a little over 46,000 with Veterans Affairs or VAMC serving 74,000 Veterans from the outlying areas Las Cruces, Ruidoso, and as far east as Midland/Odessa. These numbers are from Census data.

El Paso is slated to be the 5th most Veteran heavy city within the next five to eight years. There has been certain adjustments with TriWest who get Veterans to appointments to specific doctors, specialists etc.

Beaumont is slated to move to it’s new location to east El Paso, off of Joe Battle, leaving VAMC in a lurch as Veterans will no longer have the convenience of Beaumont being next door. Although there are all the services in place for VAMC El Paso to be built at the new Beaumont location, the planning never came about.

Since Tuesday Irene Armendariz-Jackson has been quietly beefing up her staff and developing a “plan.” What I saw at her watch party was a quiet calm over the viewers. I went merely to observe as the race gained my interest. After the election was final and Ms. Armendariz-Jackson was declared the winner, she was trending in various cities and states.

What I see, and this is just an observation is Escobar who had dominated every opponent being over confident and that may well be just enough to turn the tide in El Paso.

Irene Armendariz-Jackson proves to be fiesty, passionate and up to the task. This race while many Democrats have already claiming a “victory” this contest looks to be formidable in every sense of the word.

If you didn’t notice the weather Tuesday night, it was windy and blustery, which will pretty much set the tone for the next phase of the campaign. There are 107 days left before the elections as of this writing. It’s going to be an interesting ending.