Ramirez, Vallejo's politics provide contrast in lead-up to District 15 runoff – Brownsville Herald

With the dust beginning to settle on the primary race for Congressional District 15, it appears Democratic frontrunner Ruben Ramirez will face second-place vote getter Michelle Vallejo in a runoff election.
Ramirez drew about 28% of the Democrat vote Tuesday, with Vallejo polling about 8% behind him.
In November, the winner of that runoff will go on to face Republican Monica De La Cruz, who placed well ahead of the other eight candidates in her race.
Vallejo issued a statement Wednesday announcing her spot in the runoff.
“Together, we are building a movement that is reclaiming the power of Latino voters in South Texas and we are going to prove to status quo politicians that our pueblo-powered campaign can win in May and make history this November,” she wrote.
Vallejo’s spot in the runoff was not assured until Wednesday morning.
John Villarreal Rigney, who finished third, received only 300 votes less than Vallejo.
In a statement Wednesday, Villarreal Rigney conceded the race.
“I am sure my opponents will carry our values with them and represent Texas 15th with pride and honor, and look forward to supporting them in the race to maintain Democratic representation for our district this November,” he wrote.
Villarreal Rigney also joined Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez in criticizing the local Democratic Party for failing to open traditional polling location sites on the western side of the county.
“It saddens me this evening that not everyone was able to make their voice heard today due to the lack of preparation from the Hidalgo County Democratic Chair. We need to do better for our constituents,” he wrote.
The race between Ramirez, an avowed moderate, and Vallejo, a LUPE Votes-backed progressive, will pit a Democrat who takes pride in the middle ground against one who says it’s time to move farther to the left.
A former educator and soldier, Ramirez described himself as a traditional South Texas Democrat to The Monitor Tuesday evening.
Tentpole issues listed on his campaign’s website include infrastructure, education, affordable health care, student loan forgiveness and support for veterans.
Vallejo’s website lists many of those same priorities, along with others that include LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, restructuring border business to be fairer to workers and more gun control.
Ramirez and Vallejo appear to agree on several topics, and don’t necessarily disagree on others.
There are, however, a few stark differences in their views on policy, perhaps best illustrated by their stance on the border.
Both candidates say border policy needs reform.
“We must recognize that border security is national security, and confront the growing crisis on our southern border with smart, cost-effective, and humane strategies that de-incentivize illegal immigration,” Ramirez writes on his website. “We must also update our outdated asylum laws, increase the number of immigration court judges to clear the backlog of cases, and update our immigration laws to make them more fair and based on the needs and values of our country.”
Vallejo’s description of the border has a decidedly different tone.
“South Texans welcome newcomers. We share meals with our undocumented family and neighbors. We give shelter and help to refugees when the government will not. We make our region more just and livable for all when we unite across differences,” Vallejo wrote, saying she would support a pathway to citizenship for 11 million “undocumented Americans,” improving asylum protections and creating more opportunities for migrants with visas. “Our rights and opportunities should be shared across race and immigration status. It’s time to end the destruction of our immigration system by greedy corporations and power-hungry politicians.”


By Kwetu Buzz

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