Today Adam Powell of the El Paso Times published a report on the campaign of Ryan Woodcraft for County Commissioner Precinct 1.

Woodcraft is a retired Army Chief Warrant Officer who served for 21 years and was deployed in combat four times. He now works as a network engineer, serves on two key City committees, and volunteers in the community.

As a committed Libertarian who is focused on fiscal discipline, Woodcraft fiercely opposes any tax increases or non-voter-approved debt issuances. He told Powell, “This (campaign) is all about putting money back in the people’s pockets and not letting the county frivolously spend it.”


As for the recent 4-1 vote to raise the salaries of County Commissioners from $114,900 to $133,500 per year, Woodcraft has vowed to return the raise ($18,600) to the community. “The difference in the pay right now … whatever that difference is when it comes down to the actual dollars and cents, I will cut a check every month to go right back into the community.”


So far Woodcraft’s only opponent is Democrat Jackie Arroyo Butler, Senior Policy Advisor to outgoing Commissioner Carlos Leon and a supporter of expanding County government and issuing more non-voter-approved debt if necessary.

We recently spoke to Ms. Butler, who was kind enough to spend time on the phone with us to articulate her positions. She is intelligent and candid but clearly favors more spending and taxation.

She told us she favors creating a County child care program to help working mothers as well as a job placement program for the unemployed, growing the County administration by scores of employees and almost certainly increasing our property tax even further. Neither of these initiatives appears explicitly on her campaign webpage.

She also told us she does not oppose the issuance of certificates of obligations as long as they are used sparingly and judiciously.

Butler is paid $102,315 to manage Commissioner Leon’s office and advise him, earning far more than the Mayor of El Paso.

Her July 15 campaign finance report shows $26,652 in total political contributions and $8,637 in expenditures. Her largest contributors include Randall Bowling ($1,000), Adam Frank ($1,000), the Mary Gonzalez Campaign ($1,000), Stanley Jobe ($1,000), the Joseph Moody Campaign ($1,000), the Carlos Leon Campaign ($500), Steve Ortega ($1,000), Gary Porras ($1,000), Gerald Rubin ($1,000), and Douglas Schwartz ($1,000).

In short, Butler has the financial backing of two mainstream tax-and-spend Democratic legislators from our State Delegation as well as her boss, who recently voted to increase our property tax along with his own salary. She is also supported by a broad array of developers and their bankers, and the Darth Vader of El Paso politics, Steve Ortega.

We hope the Republicans will stay out of this race and support Woodcraft and that Democratic voters will also see the wisdom of embracing a candidate who will bring strong fiscal oversight to the County Commissioners Court.