Welcome to this edition of the Thanksgiving 2021 political gossip column. Before we get into the gossip, the El Paso Politics would like to wish our readers a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. Here is the latest gossip making the rounds around El Paso’s political water cooler. Remember that this column is about political gossip shared with us and we have made no attempt to verify it.
The El Paso Democratic Party
There are political whispers about discontent among the El Paso Democratic Party delegation. Most of the discontent we have heard is about the party chair, Dora Oaxaca Rivera. Several candidates have alleged that they were charged the wrong filing fees when submitting their applications to run in the upcoming 2022 primaries for next March. At least one unnamed candidate has said that they were asked to “donate” the overcharge to the party. The candidate instead picked up their check and replaced it with one with the correct amount. According to sources, the candidate said that they needed the money for their campaign and was not going to donate it to the party.
In addition to the complaints about the wrong charges being applied to file to run for office we have also been told that the party members are upset that Dora Oaxaca Rivera has been slow to release the names of candidates that have filed to run for office. According to a source, Oaxaca Rivera has said that she is “reviewing” the candidate applications. However, the function of the party chair is to accept the candidate applications and submit them to the Texas Secretary of State. The complaint by party members is why is she “reviewing” them.
The last list published by party officials for El Paso candidates was one November 16, 2021 through their Facebook page. That was three days after the filing period opened on November 13. The only other public post on their Facebook page was a November 21 Instagram post shared by Veronica Escobar announcing her filing to run for reelection. Escobar’s original post was on the previous day.
Several sources have said that there may be letter sent to Oaxaca Rivera by local members of the party demanding that party officials release the list of candidates that have filed to run for office more frequently.
Finally, one source told us that Dora Oaxaca Rivera may not seek reelection for the party chairmanship and may cite “health reasons” for not running in the upcoming primaries.
Claudia Ordaz Perez
The Texas Secretary of State maintains an official list of candidates who have filed to run for office in the 2022 primaries. The source of the El Paso list is the El Paso Democratic Party. As of this morning, Claudia Ordaz Perez has not filed to run against Art Fierro for Texas State Representative District 79. Fierro filed on November 13.
One source has told us that Claudia Ordaz Perez may not file to run against Fierro because of the concerns about her eligibility to run for that office raised by us on November 15. Readers may remember that we wrote that a lawsuit filed by Ordaz Perez’ husband, Vince Perez in 2015 to remove a challenger in his race from the ballot set the precedent of how the residency requirement to run for office is counted. In the case of Claudia Ordaz Perez, she appears to be three days short of meeting the requirement that she live in District 79 for one year before the 2022 General Election. Our analysis suggests that she is ineligible to run in District 79.
On November 2, Claudia Ordaz Perez held a party to announce her intention to run against Fierro in 2022. Since then, according to several sources, Ordaz Perez has been quiet about her candidacy and has not filed officially to run against Fierro, according to publicly available records.
Important Information About The Political Gossip Corner
It is important to note that this column is nothing more than political rumors swirling around political operatives. As rumors they are unsubstantiated and none have been validated. So why are we publishing rumors? We have given this lots of thought and ultimately we decided that the more information that is allowed to become part of the political narrative the better informed the community is. The moment we decide to be gatekeepers of the information we become arbiters of what the community should know and what it should not know. That is the definition of censorship.