Yesterday evening the Westside Democrats of El Paso hosted the seven candidates running for District 1.

Below I have summarized their replies to the three most important questions:

1.  Do you support the $273M City Community Progress Bond and the $346M UMC hospital expansion bond?

2.  Do you support building the Arena in Duranguito?

3.  Do you support the City Manager form of government?

I have also compiled this video of all the candidates’ responses to the “Arena” question, in the order the candidates are listed below. You ahould do

DAVID JONES (retired from Army with rank of Major):

Against City and UMC bonds.

Refused to answer Arena question, but opposes displacement of people.

Supports City Manager form of government but El Paso needs better than what we have.

BRIAN KENNEDY (former CEO of El Paso Sports Commission, practicing attorney):

Against the City and UMC bonds.

Opposes Arena location and increasing cost, instead favors improving the Convention Ctr. and Chavez Theater.

Supports City Manager form of government but opposes Tommy Gonzalez, wants City Council to lead more.

ANALISA CORDOVA SILVERSTEIN (Account Executive at Hello Amigo media company):

Supports both City and UMC bonds, but opposes the use of COs.

Supports destroying Duranguito for an Arena, keep “economic momentum” blah blah blah…

Supports City Manager government, no comment on Tommy Gonzalez.

FREDDY KHLAYEL AVALOS (real estate developer and property manager):

Supports both the City and County bonds but insists on cutting spending in tandem.

Supports killing the Arena completely, we cannot afford it.

Supports City Manager form of government, but with more accountability.

DELIRIS MONTANEZ BERRIOS (former Border Patrol agent, owner of Equestrian Holistic Retreat Getaway)

Against City and County bonds.

Supports Arena project but not in Duranguito.

Supports letting City Manager Tommy Gonzalez resign.

LAUREN FERRIS (attorney in private practice)

Supports City and County bonds but opposes higher taxes (?).

Opposes Arena location, instead favors improving the Convention Ctr. and Chavez Theater.

Open to exploring a switch to strong Mayor government.

ERIN TAGUE (worked at ADP, currently a remote manager of a start-up company)

Against the City and UMC bonds.

Against Arena in Duranguito, would take issue back to the voters.

Would eliminate City Manager and switch to strong Mayor government, opposes contract extension of Tommy Gonzalez.


Of the seven candidates, Analisa Cordova Silverstein is the only one who supports razing Duranguito for an Arena. That is no surprise since she is the only one raking in the Oligarchy money from the developers and their bankers and attorneys. She would continue the disastrous spending policies of Rep. Peter Svarzbein.

For me the one big surprise of the evening was when Freddy Avalos courageously proclaimed that the Arena project is too expensive and should be scrapped altogether. I wrongly assumed he would have been aligned with the Oligarchs given his prominent role in the election of Isabel Salcido to District 5, but that is clearly not the case.

The six non-Oligarchy candidates generally spoke with common sense, although some support too much deficit spending.

To view the entire forum, go to the Facebook page of host Victor Vasquez, who uploaded it in two parts.

Enjoy your day,