City Rep. Alexsandra Annello of District 2 recently resigned her seat on City Council to run for state office, triggering a special election on December 9.
Of the four candidates running to replace her, we determined that Judy Gutierrez is the most fiscally conservative. She is distributing a door hanger around her district making five promises:
- She will not vote for a tax increase.
- She will not support issuing debt without voter approval.
- She will not use a City gas card.
- She will not travel on City business but will remain in her district.
- She will not accept a salary but will donate it back to District 2.
Gutierrez repeated these promises to Adam Powell of the El Paso Times in an extensive report published yesterday.
She also told Powell she is concerned about the more than $2 billion in City debt, fears that “hundreds of people are losing their homes because they can’t pay their taxes,” and is open to making spending cuts.
In past elections, Gutierrez supported building an arena in Duranguito and accepted significant donations from the Oligarchs. However, she has stated publicly and told us directly that she now regrets her former support for the arena. She has also declared she will not accept campaign contributions in the current race. A local PAC, El Paso Progress, deployed a mailer against one of her opponents, but as far as we know, the mailer was unconnected to her campaign.
Joshua Acevedo worked for Commissioner David Stout of Precinct 2 before his election to the Board of Trustees of EPISD, which has seen its enrollment decline by 16.6% in only five years and has the highest teacher attrition rate in El Paso County. He was kind enough to speak to us on the phone to discuss his candidacy. His volunteer work for EPISD is admirable but he did not share any substantive policy positions and did not seem committed to fiscal restraint.
Veronica Carbajal is a local attorney, and she stood firmly against the boondoggle arena project from the beginning. However, she disappointed us when she served on the UMC Board of Managers and voted to issue up to $400 million in CO debt without voter authorization, before it was shot down by citizen petition. She then joined forces with Sunrise El Paso in support of Proposition K, the most radical and financially destructive proposition ever to make it onto an El Paso ballot. In a historic beatdown, 82% of El Pasoans who cast ballots voted against it.
Most disappointingly, she recently used her campaign Instagram page to oppose Israel’s “genocide” in Gaza, opining on an issue that has nothing to do with representing District 2. She also shared the announcement of the anti-Israel protest in downtown El Paso on October 21, in which hundreds of activists chanted for Israel’s destruction, some wearing green armbands or scarves in solidarity with Hamas.
Ben Mendoza told Adam Powell of the El Paso Times about his experience in the business world and on City committees, but he does not seem to offer any specific policy positions that will offer the taxpayers any relief. He expressed his concern about high taxation (without offering any solutions) and cited the need to hire more police officers and support local businesses.
EARLY VOTING BEGINS NOVEMBER 27
It is clear that Judy Gutierrez is the most fiscally conservative candidate for District 2. We hope she will honor her campaign promises if elected. Among the candidates for District 2, she seems the most committed to streamlining City government and providing relief to the taxpayers.
Early voting begins November 27 and ends December 5, with Election Day on December 9.