State delegation back Rep. César Blanco as Sen. Rodriguez’s successor

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Just one day after Texas State Senator Jose Rodriguez (TX-29) announced he is not seeking re-election, a delegation of three of the four remaining El Paso area Texas Representatives are endorsing and encouraging State Representative César Blanco to run for his seat.

“The people of District 29 deserve a strong, effective leader who will put them first and deliver on their priorities. César Blanco and I have spent three sessions fighting together for El Paso in Austin, and I can tell you that’s who he is and what he does. I’m proud to call him a friend, and I know we would all be proud to call him Senator,” Speaker Pro Tem Joe Moody said in a statement Saturday morning.

Blanco was elected in 2015 to serve Texas’ 76th District, which includes nearly 160,000 El Pasoans and encompasses parts of Central and East El Paso as well as much of the Lower Valley. Prior to being elected, Blanco served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Pete Gallego and Ciro Rodriguez.

In 2016, Blanco was named Political Director of the Latino Victory Project, becoming to group’s interim president later in the year. In Blanco’s freshman term in the House, he was named one of the Best Legislators of the 84th Legislature by Texas Monthly. At the time, Texas Monthly cited Blanco’s unwavering effort to pass the Hazlewood Act, which promised free tuition at public universities to Texas Veterans or their dependents.

In an e-mailed statement, local state representatives Joe Moody, Mary Gonzalez, and Art Fierro all endorse and encourage Blanco to run for the Texas Senate seat vacated by Senator Jose Rodriguez’s retirement. In addition to the El Paso delegation, Democratic party Chairman Poncho Névarez is also encouraging Blanco to run for the open seat.

“César is the experienced leader that can deliver for Senate District 29. He’s been an effective fighter in the Texas House and has fought for our rural communities’ fair share of resources in his time working for local congressmen. He knows this district well and will rise above politics to put our people first and deliver results,” Nevarez said.

Rodriguez, whose term will end January 2021, will have served ten years in the Texas Legislature at the time of his retirement. Prior to becoming El Paso’s Senator, Rodriguez served as County Attorney for more than 17 years.

“From his days helping lead the Court of Inquiry, to his courage in the Senate standing up for the border and voting rights in times of polarization and fear-mongering, Senator Rodriguez has been a moral compass helping the state honestly address inequities,” State Rep. César Blanco said following Friday’s announcement.

As of Saturday morning, Blanco has made no official announcement for his intentions to run for the Senate seat.

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