EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Analisa Cordova Silverstein and Brian Kennedy are continuing their campaigns before voters get to decide which one will take the seat on the El Paso City Council for District 1.
Kennedy won 42 percent of the votes on Election Day, taking the lead over Cordova Silverstein who won 25 percent. Kennedy, however, fell short of the 50 percent mark needed to avoid a runoff.
Kennedy is confident he will win in the runoff and said other five candidates who didn’t make it to the runoff are now endorsing him.
Cordova Silverstein said she is hopeful the numbers will flip since this is a now completely different race.
In his campaign, Kennedy emphasized his experience of 23 years as the director and CEO of the County Coliseum and El Paso Sports Commission.
He also served in the military and currently owns his law firm.
Among lowering taxes and improving roadways in District 1, Kennedy said he wants to make sure city’s expenditures, especially bonds, are being used properly.
“There’s huge traffic problems and road problems and I don’t think we correctly addressed this with a plan. Now, they did just pass a bond for some road money, but that’s not enough you have to have a long-term plan, so people know when [their] road is getting done,” said Kennedy.
Cordova Silverstein said her experience as a chief of staff for a Texas senator, her work with local nonprofits and being a project manager for a local tech company, will help her if she wins the seat.
She said she wants to continue focusing on street and park improvements, mental health accessibility and making sure city funds are being managed properly.
“We wanted to improve parks now that that proposition got passed, I had gone to all parks in district one, I know which ones need attention the most,” said Cordova Silverstein.
She explained she talked to many residents and wants them to feel heard during her mandate.
However, this runoff race did not proceed without controversy.
Cordova Silverstein has accused Kennedy of misusing public funds.
She said she went through the 2019 internal audit of the El Paso Sports Commission that stated over $148,000 of hotel occupancy tax money was being misused.
“The audit clearly states that he misappropriated about 140 thousand dollars of public funds and that is very important because we need to make sure who we elect someone who we can trust in how they are managing public funds because it’s a big part of our jobs,” she said.
Kennedy responded to the accusation and explained that the same audit contained a clarification that these funds used for employee picnics were recategorized and taken out of a different account, admitting an error that was then fixed.
“She obviously doesn’t understand how to read financial reports and analysis because if she got to the last page, they said these simply are categorizations. It went from one of our accounts to another account and it was already solved before the report went out,” Kennedy said and added, “either my opponent doesn’t know how to read financial reports, or she does, and she is cherry picking information and is willing to say anything to try and get elected.”
Early voting for the runoff election is from Nov. 30 until Dec. 13.
The runoff is Dec. 17.
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