May 5th, 2018. A date that will live in infamy, as far as Del Rio politics goes. Eighteen years into the 21st Century, those three thousand folks who chose to show up between Cinco de Mayo margaritas elected their first millennial leader with the selection of Bruno ‘Ralphy’ Lozano. While the overall turnout was significantly low by total registered voters’ standards, it was an overwhelming majority of 61 percent which lead to the defeat of baby boomer Mayor Robert Garza and crowning the 30 something mayor-elect. A title that he might consider for the 2022 campaign: Landslide Lozano.
While Bruno’s campaign of slightly over 90 days was never crafty, slick, or over produced, (as many political consultants would diagnose as the only way to defeat a highly successful and educated incumbent) his grass roots, low key approach was deer-in-the-headlight blinding to the opposition while attracting the masses with one, simple key word: Unity.
There are several factors why Del Rio chose Bruno Lozano for the big red chair. His timing was as crystal clear as a Steven Spielberg final scene, leaving nothing for the cutting room floor. There wasn’t rhetoric, trash-talking, or promises. The incumbent answers at public forums, mass-mailers outlying previous achievements, budgets met, and expectations that Del Rio must look at for the future did not seem to faze Bruno in the least and he kept on point. What his supporters took with them into the voting booth was the one word repeated from countless hours of block walking and public speaking at forums: Unity. To be determined over the next 48 months is can Bruno deliver?
In order to achieve collective cohesiveness, Del Rio still has to determine who will serve in District 2 for city council as well as Council at Large Place C. That will be a very difficult decision between Jim Dereus and David Scarbo in the District 2 showdown. Both men have high achievement with their past professional and community service experience. Their character alone demonstrates the comprehension of unity. Place C has voters deciding between Reno Luna and Raul Ojeda. Luna has served many years as councilman, so he does not need to be reminded of the definition of Lozano’s credo. Ojeda does understand and acknowledges a desire for what Del Rio demands of its future government.
What Mayor-elect Lozano probably will find in the upcoming months is how fortunate it is that District 1 voters chose Fred Carranza. If anything, Fred Carranza is a perfect synonym for unity. As for council persons Rowland Garza, Diana Salgado, and Elizabeth Elizalde-Calderon, Bruno will find that they too have Del Rio’s best interest at heart. But he shouldn’t feel surprised at the hard ball questions to come along with some opposition.
What Bruno Lozano must decide once the council is in place are the specific goals that will unify Del Rio.
More strategic economic growth plans. A continued pace of securing needed infrastructure. He has already hinted at the beautification of Del Rio and better containment of its natural resources. Bruno had me on my feet with applause when he said that he chooses not to compare Del Rio to Eagle Pass, but selects other cities of its size in the United States. That comment is rather bold and might even miff those who supported him.
Bruno might consider looking at the accomplishments of Robert Garza since 2016 which might guide him to unification at a steady pace. The Ports-To-Plains vision for Del Rio, along with future cooperation with interior Mexico is a laudable plan to pursue. The achievement of our financial status, bond rating, and payment of debt are to his credit. The one thing you can say about Robert Garza’s tenure, he left us in a better financial position than when he came into office.
Finally, mayor-elect Lozano might want to set his goals with a well outlined series of tasks in order to meet his ultimate summit. Once his council is selected, it’s time to roll the sleeves up and focus on amalgamation. Its definition is “the action, process, or result of combining or uniting. Welcome to City Hall Ralphy. Opport-Unity knocks!