EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso City Council District 6 Rep. Claudia Ordaz-Perez announced her campaign for Texas House of Representatives District 76 seat on Wednesday.
Ordaz-Perez is the second candidate to announce for the race. Elisa Tamayo announced her campaign in September.
The new District 76 seat holder will replace State Rep. Cesar Blanco who announced his campaign for State Senate position replacing State Senator Jose Rodriguez.
Tamayo has worked in Blanco’s office and already has experience in Austin.
Ordaz-Perez said she did not originally plan to run for office, as she currently serves District 6 in City Council, which covers most of the Mission Valley area.
However, she said it was her own constituents who encouraged her to run for outgoing State Rep. Blanco’s seat after she helped defeat the planned medical waste facility in the Lower Valley.
“After much thought and a lot of encouragement from residents in the neighborhood that they would like to see me representing them in Austin,” Ordaz-Perez said.
Ordaz-Perez served five years in City Council and voters re-elected her to her seat in 2018.
“That type of experience and ensuring that knowing what’s important to El Pasoans we need that perspective in Austin because that’s currently not the case right now,” Ordaz-Perez said.
Ordaz-Perez added she plans to use the state representative platform to bring reform to El Paso, revitalize neighborhoods and tackle laws larger than the city level including animal welfare and parental leave.
She adds her experience growing up in El Paso and working for local government will give her the advantage to give El Paso a voice in Austin.
But Ordaz-Perez has competition coming straight out of Blanco’s office.
“I think serving at the state level is a whole different game and I think it gives me the advantage to have that experience with Blanco’s office and Senator Rodriguez’s office to know what we need to move El Paso forward,” Tamayo said.
Tamayo already has endorsements from Cesar Blanco, as well as State Senator Jose Rodriguez, other state delegates including Joe Moody and Mary Gonzalez and more according to her official campaign Facebook page.
Tamayo said her eyes are set on bilingual education and advancing healthcare access in El Paso, and she added she thinks Ordaz-Perez’s time with City Council is more of a liability than a selling point.
“I think City Council has a lot to work on and they’ve had some challenges that I think the voters have seen and I don’t think we want to bring this to Austin,” Tamayo said.
El Paso Mayor Dee Margo issued a statement calling for a special election following the announcement. The City said it triggers the “resign-to-run provision” and will be added to next week’s City Council meeting agenda.
The District 76 election is set for March 3, 2020, and the City said it is tentative the special election would be held on December 14 of this year, however that is not confirmed just yet as City Council still needs to discuss the item.