By Oliver Ramsey
No more publicized text message feuds.
No more futile press conferences railing against the Governor.
Thousands of trees saved from being turned into annual apocalyptic border reports.
Thousands of dollars saved from not throwing needless parties.
For the first time in a long time, El Paso will not send anyone to Austin named Shapleigh or Chavez, and for that matter, Haggerty or Moreno.
For the first time in a long time, El Paso is sending a Delegation that they can be proud of, or at the very least one that it does not have to be embarrassed about. Certainly there will be gossip about the new Delegation, but it will be just that, gossip.
If you were to ask each one – Chavez, Haggerty, Moreno and Shapleigh – what they had in common with one another, they would each reply, “Nothing.” But truth be told, they had at least one thing in common: they were personalities. These personalities have shaped people’s perception of El Paso in Austin.
Unfortunately, the El Paso’s reputation in Austin is based on the people they elect. The city for several years sent a boozehound, a race-baiter, an ineffectual liberal orator and a spoiled brat to the Legislature. And to think some El Pasoans wondered why they got no respect. But they wondered no more.
These individuals may have reflected a past El Paso, but they did not reflect present or future El Paso. It was for this reason they lost their races or had to step down. Their races or decision to step down had less to do with campaign donations, voting records or policy positions, and more to do with the fact is El Paso is changing. And El Paso final got around to changing its Delegation.
Of course, some are probably already asking about Pickett. Soda fountain aside, Pickett has never been a personality. Pickett would rather be reading TxDOT audits than attending taco plate get-out-the-vote pachangas, hanging out with Austin liberals, or golfing with lobbyists. Then of course there is Chente. But he does not matter much anyways, and there will always be one of those in every delegation.
The new Delegation probably will not be able to save many of the state-funded programs that some El Pasoans support from the budget ax or reopen Speaking Rock Casino, but at the very least, the Delegation will not embarrass you.