Former El Paso state Rep. Joe Pickett signals return to politics

State Rep- Joe Pickett recognized for Silver Alert_98023084

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Former state Rep. Joe Pickett filed a treasurer for a City Council race at the beginning of the month signaling a return to politics for the Democrat.

Pickett, who resigned from his seat representing the 79th District of Texas, filed for the appointment of a campaign treasurer in the District 5 race next year. He began his political career defeating an incumbent in 1991 for a seat on the City Council.

“The likelihood is very high,” Pickett said of a City Council run.

Pickett had left his office in January of 2019 over health-related issues. But he says he is feeling good and his doctor says he is healthy.

“I am mean and tough as I ever was,” Pickett said.

The former state Rep. said he is strongly leaning toward running for City Council rather than try and return to the Legislature. He is not sure about all the traveling it requires, he added.

For now, Pickett and Richard Genera are the only individuals who have filed for treasurers in the race. Also, they are the only two individuals who have filed for treasurers in four races next year.

KTSM 9 News has reached out to District 5 incumbent Isabel Salcido for comment on whether she will run for reelection.

Genera says he is putting his ambitions to be a teacher aside while he pursues a run for City Council. He is advocating for transparency, engagement and accountability, he added.

“El Pasoans are fed up and who can blame them? Our streets are a mess that can’t even handle a week of of rain,” he said. “Distrust in local leadership is at an all-time high. Record setting property taxes, three quarters of a billion in non-voter approved debt and we haven’t even begun to adequately prepare for the fourth industrial revolution.”

District 1, 5, 6, and 8 are up for reelection on Nov. 8, 2022. The districts include areas all over the city including the Upper Valley, West Side, East Side, Segundo Barrio, Chamizal and Mission Valley.

Pickett has an active suit against the city of El Paso over the use of an environmental franchise fee to pay for street infrastructure and public safety costs.

Pickett filed the suit last October looking for monetary relief of $100,000 or less from fees collected through his water bill. The suit takes aim at whether the city has the authority to add on fees to utility services and justly use the revenue to pay for millions of dollars in public equipment.

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