Politic365

 
 


Headline

2:49am May 31, 2012

After Eight Terms, Silvestre Reyes is Out

Story

On Tuesday, a long time member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus from the Texas delegation was defeated by a former El Paso city council representative who favors marijuana legalization. Democratic Representative Silvestre Reyes had endorsements from President Obama and President Clinton, but that wasn’t enough to overcome the momentum of Beto O’Rourke.

Reyes had recently been perceived as being “out of touch” and was the target of the Campaign for Primary Accountability, which seeks to level the playing field in primary races. This groups targets incumbents, who enjoy huge advantages of being in office such as access to the media and the name recognition of simply being in “the club” (Congress), by running competitive primaries.

“Rep. Reyes had all the benefits of incumbency. Beltway lobbyists showered money on their long-time friend while Washington party leaders with marquee names tried to lend him their stature,” said Curtis Ellis, a spokesman for the Campaign for Primary Accountability, in a statement. ”The voters exercised their franchise and chose Beto O’Rourke.”

Recently, Congressman Reyes had come under the scrutiny of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) for reimbursing family members. More specifically, Reyes’ campaign had paid his niece for fundraising work. This is legal, but it reeks of nepotism. This issue featured prominently in a television attack ad by the Campaign for Primary Accountability:

O’Rourke’s victory over Reyes also may signal a shift in the electorate on the drug war and marijuana legalization. As an El Paso city councilman, O’Rourke supported a resolution calling for the re-examination of the drug war. He also has asserted that marijuana is the “cornerstone of the cartel economy.” During the campaign, Reyes went after O’Rourke for his positions on the drug war and marijuana -even releasing an ad suggesting that the former El Paso councilman was encouraging drug use. This comes at a time when 56 percent of Americans favor legalizing and regulating marijuana like alcohol and tobacco.

The defeat of Reyes is also symbolic because it marks the loss of a seat held by a Mexican American, which is the largest group within the Latino population in the United States. Mexican Americans represent 63 percent of the 50 million Hispanics in the United States. but there aren’t any Mexican Americans in the Senate (the two Latinos in the Senate are Cuban American). In the House of Representatives, representatives of Mexican descent constitute approximately 3.7 percent of the total Congressional population.



About the Author

Adriana Maestas
Adriana Maestas is the senior contributing editor of Politic365.com. The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and have complete editorial independence from any Politic365 partners, sponsors, or advertisers. For additional information about Politic365, please visit http://politic365.com/about/.




 
 

 
latino-youth

NCLR: Helping to Build Resilient Latino Youth

Immigration, poverty, education, discrimination, disengagement are all issues affecting Latino youth today and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) is leading the charge for an open dialogue on these issues. NCLR is the Natio...
by Charlyn Stanberry
1

 
 
unnamed

Jeb Bush identifies as “Hispanic” on voter registration, acknowledges mistake

Earlier today the New York Times published Jeb Bush’s voter registration form, which listed his ethnicity as “Hispanic.” Jeb Bush, brother of former President George W. Bush and son of former President George ...
by Adriana Maestas
0

 
 
6236984564_639ea5c68a_b

Canadian born Ted Cruz to enter GOP race for president, let the birther stories begin

On Sunday, it was announced that Texas Senator Ted Cruz will launch his presidential campaign on Monday at Liberty University in Virginia. While Jeb Bush is “exploring” a run for president, Ted Cruz would be the fir...
by Adriana Maestas
5

 

Advertisement
 
walmart-minimum-wage-increase

Walmart Wage Increase Likely to Start New Trend Toward Pay Equity

Better schedules, more training, and a wage increase up to $10.00 per hour – that’s what Walmart workers can expect beginning on April 1. Last month, the world’s largest retailer announced that it was raising...
by Kristal High
1

 
 
new-black-panthers-600x350

Open Carry Gun Laws Won’t Work for Black People Until Racial Bias Abates

Earlier this year, video went viral of a 62-year-old Black grandfather being chocked and tackled by three White men in Florida, an open carry gun state, after one of them saw a gun in his waistband and assumed he was a criminal...
by Brandon Patterson
2

 




One Comment


  1. curmudgeonvt

    I love it!!! As a long time supporter of term limits, the defeat of an incumbent in this fashion makes me giddy. Long have people said that the voters have the power – well – this proves it. This should send a shockwave through the Congress – that NO ONE is safe when they forget who put them there in the first place.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>