By speaking to residents’ real needs on property tax reform and administrative bloat, a democratic party chairman is poised to carry the conservative vote in a mayoral bid.
At a press conference on the steps of City Hall, Democrat party chairman Manuel Medina spoke to a coalition of supporters from around the city who have banded together to endorse the chairman in his bid for mayor of the Alamo city.
San Antonio Professional Firefighter’s Association President Chris Steele introduced Medina, stressing the need for a major change in management at City Hall. “We are endorsing for Mayor a person who will put your safety first, and mean it,” Steele said.
In addition to the firefighters, who were joined in their endorsement by the police association, Medina was also endorsed by Tea Party stalwart George Rodriguez, who echoed many of the same frustrations that city hall is plagued by a pay-for-play culture of cronyism – favoring pet-projects instead of basic core services such as public safety.
“What we have my friends, is not a Republican or Democrat issue. What we have is a power group that is against the citizens and the taxpayers,” Rodriguez said. “Look at the crime rate. Look at the murder rate. In the meantime, we have a City Manager that gets paid nearly $500,000 a year, and a city council that gets paid too. This is about the taxpayer’s money. That’s why I’m here, and that’s why I’m supporting him, because he will put the money where it’s supposed to be, not sculptures.”
“If Zachry wants to buy a sculpture, let Zachry buy it,” Rodriguez said to applause from the audience. “If Henry Cisneros wants to fix up downtown, let him and Mr. Frost get together and do it. Why should it come out of our pockets?!”
Following Rodriguez’s comments, fellow Tea Party member Jeff Judson, who is one of the driving forces behind stopping the streetcar boondoggle (which keeps coming back), also gave supporting comments.
“San Antonio has the lowest per-capita number of police of any major city in the state of Texas. That is something that affects everybody’s daily life,” Judson said. “We need a mayor that focuses on the things that really matter, and I believe that Manuel Medina is that person.”
“He’s gonna hire a City Manager that’s transparent and honest,” Judson said in describing what was attractive about Medina’s campaign –which was received with applause from the audience. “He wants to put to the voters any time we want to increase taxes above 4%,” citing Medina’s support of SB 2.
It is obvious that Medina’s recognition of the fiscal problems plaguing city hall are the reason he’s been able to garner support from conservative circles. If the 2015 mayoral election in which conservatives rallied behind Ivy Taylor to stop Leticia Van de Putte sets any precedent, it may just be Medina’s ticket to the Mayor’s office.