We have previously reported that mayoral candidate Renard Johnson is the New Beto, backed by Escobar, Samaniego, and the local business elite.

On January 30, Johnson hosted his Campaign Launch Party at Carlos & Mickey’s and Reyes Mata of El Paso Inc was there to interview some of the guests.

Among them was Dee Margo, who was so unpopular as Mayor that he won only 20% of the vote in the Runoff Election of December 12, 2020, even though he outraised Oscar Leeser by more than $300,000.

When asked about Johnson, Margo was enthusiastic: “He was raised in El Paso. He’s an outstanding graduate of UTEP, and he’s been giving back to this community for many years. I think he’s a great El Pasoan and will make a great mayor.”

This comes from a one-term Mayor who presided over multiple property tax hikes and non-voter-approved debt issuances and effectively turned City Hall into a gigantic taxpayer-funded trough for his investor friends.

If we were Johnson, we would have made sure Margo was as far from Carlos & Mickey’s as possible, somewhere between Alaska and the Yukon.

At least he had the good sense to omit photos of him in his social media.

Also present was County Judge Ricardo Samaniego, who told Mata that Johnson has “got the right traits.” His daughter Elisa, a Kemp Smith attorney, is Johnson’s Campaign Treasurer.

Of course, there was also Laura Zimmerman, who is the campaign manager for both Johnson and Congresswoman Escobar.

Mata noted that Johnson “has contributed to the campaigns of Democrats Beto O’Rourke, César Blanco and Silvestre Reyes, as well as recently pitching in $1,000 to both Vince Perez and Alexsandra Annello for their campaigns for the Texas House District 77 position.”

That is the modus operandi of the New Beto: to ally himself with a wide range of Democrats, from centrist to progressive, while courting key Republicans from the developer, energy, and services sectors.

If Johnson wins, he will dust off that trough and place it back inside City Hall, in exactly the same position where it stood during the Dark Age of Dee Margo and his lackey Tommy Gonzalez.