Chente’s Problem

By Oliver Ramsey

It ain’t even 2011 yet and folks are already making plans for 2012. One of those folks is
Robert Grijalva, Chente Quintanilla’s assistant. It appears that Grijalva is interested in
the seat held by his former employer, Paul Moreno.

Truth be told though, Grijalva has been eyeing that seat even when he was working for
Moreno, but Robert probably needed more money so he went to work for Chente. Not
to worry, all Robert had to do was wait for Moreno to retire so he could triumphantly
return to House District 77 riding on a Democratic donkey and run for the seat. But
something happened. To be more precise, SOMEONE happened. That someone was
Marisa Marquez.

Unlike everybody else, Marisa was not going to wait on Moreno. As it turned out, the
district was not going to wait on Moreno either. Apparently though, Robert thinks the
district wants Moreno, or at the very least his former assistant, back.

Granted, Robert has not made a declarative statement that he is indeed running. On the
other hand, he has not ruled it out either. In politics though, when you do NOT say “no”,
you are implying “yes.” So until Robert states unequivocally that he is NOT running,
he in fact IS running. That is going to make things somewhat uncomfortable within the

Sure, Robert has every right to run for office, but he is going about it the worst way
possible. Besides being potentially subsidized by a state office to run, he would end up
being subsidized by a member of El Paso’s own Delegation.

Robert is still Chente’s staffer, and one of the things a so-called good staffer does is
protect their boss. But Robert is putting Chente in a rather uncomfortable position
insofar his relationship with Marquez. Should Marquez trust Chente when discussing
policy or political matters when Chente is probably going to share those conversations
with her would-be opponent, Robert? Is Robert going to spend most of his time in Austin
monitoring Marisa rather than working for Chente and the district he represents?

With that said, whatever potential problems that occur because of this will not because of
Robert, it will be because of Chente. And it’s up to Chente to fix it.

As to whether or not Robert has a chance – short answer “no” – is a whole other story.


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