Last legislative session, the state of Texas passed House Bill 25, which will eliminate straight-party voting in 2020. Since this is the last general election for the “palanca” vote, it seems as if the Democratic Party’s attempts to create a “blue wave” in Texas are at the expense of the taxpayer, as they encourage their base across the state to vote straight-ticket regardless of their nominees’ track records.

In the Rio Grande Valley, a Democratic candidate sits on the 13th Court of Appeals, Place 4, who has been indicted on federal bribery charges. That candidate, former 93rd District Court Judge Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado (D), is still on the ballot.

The disgraced Delgado has been arrested, indicted, suspended, and has resigned his seat on the bench. He is facing federal charges on bribery (based on a sting operation), obstruction of justice, conspiracy, and 20 additional alleged acts of bribery. Delgado’s court date has been postponed until early next year due to the insurmountable amount of evidence against him. Coincidentally, his Republican opponent, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility-endorsed Jaime Tijerina, has been appointed by Governor Abbott to fill Delgado’s vacancy on the 93rd District Court.

In May, Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey demanded the immediate withdrawal of Delgado’s candidacy for the 13th Court of Appeals. The Hidalgo County Democratic Party has had ample time to replace their nominee, yet they refuse to do so. Meanwhile, Delgado, who has yet to be seen on the campaign trail, remains on the ballot. The Democrats’ initiative to push straight-ticket voting evinces an utter lack of respect for the taxpayers’ time and vote.

At an Objective Watchers of the Legal System (O.W.L.S.) non-partisan meet and greet event, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility-endorsed candidate for Chief Justice of the 13th Court of Appeals, Judge Ernie Aliseda, hinted at the public corruption evident in the RGV while pitching his candidacy: “There’s only seven candidates here today, and there’s supposed to be eight. I want to earn your trust. I want to restore confidence in our judicial system.”

Other Democratic candidates in the RGV include 13th Court of Appeals, Place 2, incumbent Nora Longoria (arrested for DWI followed by a dismissal of the case); and State Board of Education incumbent Ruben Cortez (who has been sued for using his role to dictate positions within the Brownsville Independent School District).

Around the state, the Democratic Party is depending on their top candidate on the ballot to push Democrats to vote straight-ticket. However, Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke’s criminal record reveals he attempted to flee a hit-and-run while driving intoxicated, and then lied to the public about it.

Their other leading candidate is Lupe Valdez for Governor. As the former Dallas County Sheriff, Valdez stirred a controversy by misplacing the Beretta 9mm pistol lent to her by the sheriff’s department earlier in the campaign. An audit revealed Valdez was the only officer to have lost a weapon. The Dallas News later posed the question, “If we can’t trust Lupe Valdez with a gun, can we trust her with the governorship?”

State Rep. Victoria Neave (Dallas) is another Democrat who made headlines in June 2017 when she was arrested for driving while intoxicated. According to the police report, Neave hit a tree and her alcohol blood level was twice the legal limit. During the legislative session, Neave made headlines once again, staging a four-day hunger strike in protest of the now infamous sanctuary cities bill, which proved meaningless as the bill passed into law regardless. Texans for Fiscal Responsibilty-endorsed Deanna Metzger is running for this seat,

In Harris County, Franklin Bynum is running as the Democratic nominee for Criminal Court-at-Law, No. 8. Bynum was previously terminated from the Harris County Public Defender’s Office for falsifying his timesheets. Though Harris County is known for prosecuting employees who falsify time sheets, they failed to prosecute Bynum, leading some to believe party politics were at play.

It seems as if the Democratic Party is quick to harass and berate reputable Republican candidates, such as the witch hunt against Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court; meanwhile, Democrats push unqualified candidates here in Texas. Moreover, the Democratic Party’s failure to acknowledge their candidates’ track records continues to show their lack of respect and is a disservice to the voter. Are they feeding off voters’ ignorance to create a “blue wave”? More importantly, will Democrats vote blindly in this election or will they actually research their party’s candidates?

Early voting begins Monday, October 22 through Tuesday, November 2. Election Day is November 6.

Miriam Cepeda

Miriam Cepeda is the Rio Grande Valley Bureau Chief for Texas Scorecard. A second-generation Mexican American, she is both fluent in English and Spanish and has been influential in grassroots organizing and conservative engagement within Hispanic communities. If you don’t find her “Trumping”, you can find her saving animals, running her dog, hiking the Andes, or volunteering with the U.S. National Park Service.


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