Rodriguez to seek District 23 seat
Web Posted: 08/09/2006 10:04 PM CDT
Express-News Staff Writer
Former Congressman Ciro Rodriguez stopped playing coy
Wednesday night and said he's in the race for U.S.
Rep. Henry Bonilla's post.
"We've been looking at the data, and it's doable,"
Rodriguez said. "It's not going to be easy, but it's
Last week, federal judges redrew the boundaries for
Congressional District 23, pulling in more Bexar
County voters many of them Democrats and forcing a
Nov. 7 open election for the seat. That has moved many
ambitious Democrats to look anew at the district,
which stretches from San Antonio nearly to El Paso.
But Rodriguez on Wednesday escaped what could have
been a strong challenge from a fellow Democrat. Former
mayoral candidate and former City Councilman Julián
Castro said he'd opted not to vie for the office.
"I appreciate the interest in my candidacy," Castro
said, "but I will not be a candidate in this race."
He declined further comment, except to say: "If
there's a race I'm looking forward to, it's the 2009
Bonilla, a San Antonio Republican and seven-term
incumbent, has already vowed to fight to retain his
seat, and Rick Bolaños the Democratic nominee before
the U.S. Supreme Court-ordered remapping said he's
still in the race.
Among others who said earlier this week they're
considering mounting campaigns: City Councilman
Richard Perez; Richard Gambitta, a political scientist
and director of the Institute for Law and Public
Affairs at the University of Texas at San Antonio; and
Albert Uresti, a retired San Antonio Fire Department
district chief and brother of state Rep. Carlos
In the meantime, Rodriguez who's midway through a
tour of the far-flung district said he'll formally
announce his candidacy Tuesday in San Antonio.
Monday night, he told several dozen supporters at his
West Harding Boulevard headquarters that he'd take the
following week to decide whether to run.
He said he'll campaign on beefing up education,
infrastructure and access to health care, as well as
Bonilla's voting record.
"I'm asking Republicans, independents and Democrats to
look at his record, and decide whether he's
representing the interests of the people of District
23," he said.
Rodriguez, a longtime South Sider, represented
neighboring Congressional District 28 for four terms
before redistricting set him against Laredo Democrat
Henry Cuellar. Cuellar defeated him easily in the
primary last March.