EDINBURG, Texas – A second candidate has announced he is running for mayor of Edinburg.

Former Edinburg city manager Ramiro Garza joins current council member Gilbert Enriquez in the race. Mayor Richard Molina is expected to announce his re-election bid soon. The election takes place Nov. 2.

Garza is currently president of Noble Development and president of RG Economic Advisors. 

“Having served the City in many different capacities previously plus my business experience, I believe I have the ability to lead Edinburg in a new and prosperous direction,” said Garza. 

“I am committed to building the community-wide support necessary to unify Edinburg and build public trust. This office belongs to the residents of Edinburg and the residents deserve to have a leader with experience that will listen and work tirelessly to help improve the quality of life in Edinburg.”

Garza said he plans to use his many years of city government experience along with his business experience to help address the City’s needs and guide future growth. In a news release, he listed some of his accomplishments. 

• Former Edinburg City Manager

• Former Edinburg EDC Executive Director

• Rio Grande Valley Partnership Board Member

• Former Edinburg Chamber board Executive Vice Chairman

• Former Edinburg Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Chair

• Former University of Texas System representative on UTRGV Merger and

Medical School

• Former Texas Economic Development Council Board Member

• Former Workforce Solutions board member

• Former Rio South Texas Economic Council Chairman

• Former TxDOT Interstate 69 Corridor Advisory Board Member

• 2017 Boys & Girls of Edinburg RGV Honorary Chair of Annual Steak in the

Community Event

• 2015 RGV Walk of Fame – City of Edinburg

• Former Southwest Community Investment Corporation Board Member

• Former Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center Board Member

Garza said his priorities as mayor will include Transparency and Accountability, Jobs for Economic Prosperity, Infrastructure and Drainage, Affordable Housing, Collaboration and Partnerships.

He said he would like to see more engagement from residents in planning for the City’s future. “We need to work on a 2040 vision with a framework that aims to identify goals that positions Edinburg for success, now and through 2040.”

He also said he plans to collaborate with governments at every level to leverage resources for the benefit of the entire community. “With the growing demands of the community, it is important to maximize resources available to improve the quality of life for our residents.”

Garza said transparency and accountability are also very important. “I will be a good steward of taxpayer money and ensure we have a transparent government for our citizens. As such, I will not accept campaign contributions from vendors who provide a direct service to the city. I am focused on transparency and accountability in everything we do. This begins with holding our office holders accountable.”

Garza grew up and was educated in Port Isabel. He graduated from high school in Port Isabel and then attended UT-Brownsville, now the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where he obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a Master’s in Business Administration.

Later he graduated from the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma.

“I started out working in a federal empowerment zone helping small business achieve a true economic potential and creating new jobs. I also helped the City of Port Isabel create their first strategic plan which became a road map for economic growth and prosperity,” Garza said in a campaign video to accompany a run for Congress in 2012.

Garza came third in the Democratic Party primary for the newly created Congressional District 34 in 2012. The victor was current incumbent Filemon Vela.

In the campaign video, Garza said that working as executive director of Edinburg EDC he helped create over 10,000 jobs in South Texas. “That success lead to my appointment as city manager (of Edinburg),” Garza said. In that capacity, he said, he oversaw over 700 employees, balanced a $100 million budget, and streamlined city services. 

Garza, a father of two, has been married to his wife, Mrs. Maria Esquivel Garza, for 16 years.

Gilbert Enriquez

In his announcement, Edinburg City Council Member Enriquez said serving in that capacity has been “one of the proudest achievements of my life.” He said: “I am confident that my years of service to our city and the relationships that I’ve formed over my time in city government will help me guide us toward the incredible growth I know we are capable of.”

The key themes in Enriquez’s campaign include jobs and economic development, listening to voters, and unifying the community. He said trust has suffered.

“I am dedicated to unifying our community, promoting integrity and transparency in regard to our everyday operations, and bringing new business and jobs to ensure all of our residents enjoy a greater quality of life.”

Enriquez is founder of the ECON Group, a construction firm. He serve as a trustee of Edinburg CISD from 2000-2006. 

“What our city needs is a mayor who is going to continuously do what is best for Edinburg residents I am deliberate in my decisions and I evaluate all sides of a situation in order to make an educated choice. There is no place for personal interest in city politics,” Enriquez said.

“In my opinion, it all starts with integrity. By prioritizing integrity and transparency, we can strengthen our community and move forward onto new business, jobs, and infrastructure. It will take a collective effort to get Edinburg to where our residents want it to be, but I know we can get there together.”

A father of two, Enriquez has lived in Edinburg for 40 years. He has been married to Diana Vega Enriques for 24 years. 

“I was raised in Edinburg and would love nothing more than to see our city become a place our residents are proud to call home. If elected as mayor, I am looking forward to helping our community reach new levels of growth and success,” Enriquez added.

Editor’s Note: In January, the Rio Grande Guardian announced it would be hosting a regular Zoom series on economic development issues with Ramiro Garza. In light of the announcement that Mr. Garza is running for mayor of Edinburg this will no longer be possible. The Rio Grande Guardian does not endorse political candidates.

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