El Paso Times: State Senate: Vote for José Rodríguez
by El Paso Times Editorial Board—
José Rodríguez went to Austin as a freshman state senator last session — and was successful in working with our delegation to pass 41 bills. Now that’s successful, especially for a Democrat in a Republican-controlled Senate and House.
Today, the El Paso Times endorses Rodríguez, our former long-time county attorney, for re-election. Early voting is ongoing through Nov. 2 and Election Day is Nov. 6.
We feel Rodríguez has a good philosophy in a Republican-dominated atmosphere. That is, work on the other side of the aisle and “try to get something in the bargain.”
When Rodríguez replaced Eliot Shapleigh as our state senator last season, he did so with 38 years as an attorney, 35 of them in the public sector. And when Shapleigh chose not to run for re-election, Rodriguez was the easy choice to succeed him.
The transition went well. For the first time in more than a dozen years, there was harmony among our five state representatives and one senator — and included on that team was our lone Republican, state Rep. Dee Margo.
As a freshman, Rodríguez was named vice chair of the Jurisprudence Committee. He sat on four other committees: Health and Human Services, International Relations and Trade, Veterans Affairs and Military Installations, and Nominations.
He said a goal this term is to sit on the Finance Committee. El Paso needs a voice on this powerful committee.
Rodríguez is a strong advocate of education, health care, jobs for El Paso and transparency in government. His record shows that.
Senate Bill 860 was of great importance to El Paso. It cut a lot of red tape and now allows the El Paso County Hospital District to directly hire physicians, dentists and other health- care providers to reduce a troubling shortage in those areas.
While Democrats in the 82nd Legislative Session were not able to override the Republican-backed cuts to public education, Rodríguez was able to get two education-related Senate bills passed, and he worked with our delegation to pass two others in the House.
This session, Rodríguez plans a strategy in anticipation of another Republican-dominated Legislature. He will push for passage of revenue-producing bills to offset shortages.
He is for gaming at Speaking Rock Casino. He is for a soda tax of one-half cent per ounce.
Rodríguez continues a tradition of high energy among El Paso’s state senators. And we expect him to become more and more influential and continue to have successes on behalf of El Paso.