BROWNSVILLE, RGV – Brownsville has turned a corner from the old ways of business as usual that held the city back for far too long.

That is the view of Mayor Tony Martinez.

“It hasn’t always been easy, but along the way we’ve worked to build professionalism within city government and increase transparency, and we’ve turned a corner from the old ways of business as usual that held us back for far too long,” Martinez said, in a statement announcing he is running for re-election. 

“Make no mistake, we still face challenges, but I believe our city is off in an exciting new direction.”

Martinez is closing on his second term as mayor and will seek another four-year term next May. 

”Nearly eight years ago, I launched my first campaign under the slogan, ‘Believe in Brownsville.’ Looking back over our progress, today I’m reminded of a proverb that says, ‘if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together’,” Martinez said.

He said Brownsville’s progress has been the result of “incredible teamwork,” from the City working in renewed partnership with other governmental entities, to the willingness of every day citizens to “offer their talents and put themselves in the arena for what are often thankless and unheralded sacrifices.”

Martinez said his faith has “never been stronger” that not only are the children of Brownsville “worthy of every opportunity the world has to offer, but that our community will pull together to overcome any obstacle we may face to make it so.”

Martinez listed a few of the “major” accomplishments this teamwork has achieved:

  • Resaca Restoration – This is one of the first cooperative initiatives we did with PUB. Our resacas serve multiple purposes, from flood protection, to environmental preservation, to tourism. Working together, we’ve brought in millions of dollars for resaca restoration.
  • Downtown Revitalization – Working with downtown, historical, arts and community organizations, we’ve begun an inclusive process to reimagine downtown. The Market Square Revitalization is a sign of the progress to come, while keeping the UT-RGV campus in Brownsville alive and vibrant was mission critical.
  • Cultivate the SpaceX project – This the result of so many talented and dedicated people, from the local to the state levels. But, perhaps the most exciting is the partnership with UT-Rio Grande Valley’s Stargate, connecting local college students in astrophysics to the research and hands-on experience provided by SpaceX.
  • Growing Manufacturing Sector – Working with the Greater Brownsville Investment Corporation, the Port of Brownsville, and other partners, we’ve attracted manufacturing job creators, including SATA Group, a high-tech auto components manufacturer, providing high-wage, skilled labor jobs.

Martinez said one could add to the above list the growth at the airport, the development to hike and bike trails to improve public health.


Stargate project students Keith Boehler, Aldo Fonrogue and James Murray are pictured with Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez.

With regard to UTRGV’s Stargate project, Martinez told listeners to KURV Radio recently that a groundbreaking ceremony would be held on Dec. 21. Asked by ‘The Valley’s Morning News’ anchor Sergio Sanchez whether SpaceX would begin operations at Boca Chica beach next year, Martinez said:

“I would assume that whether we do it next summer, I do anticipate it will be sometime next year. It could be a little bit further down the road than that. We are going to have a groundbreaking and a ribbon-cutting for Stargate, which is part and parcel of what we did to attract SpaceX to Brownsville.

“It is the educational aspect. These guys are the ones that monitor all the satellites in the universe and they are part and parcel of the astrophysics department of the University of Texas. So, that building, we funded some of it, the State funded some of it, and the university funded some of it. 

“The building is up and some of the kiddos that are actually working in Stargate are very, very, closely associated with SpaceX. That was one of the things that Elon Musk really appreciated about the efforts we were doing down here in South Texas.”

(Editor’s Note: UTRGV’s press office has provided an update on the Stargate facility. They say the ribbon-cutting has been postponed until the Spring.)

Video announcement

A special announcement I wanted to share…

I shared my official statement on my intent to run for re-election below, now allow me a moment to speak from the heart. My faith in our community has never been stronger, and I would be honored to have your support as we work together to keep Brownsville growing and prosperous. #grateful #blessed #BrownsvilleForward

Posted by Mayor Tony Martinez on Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Martinez produced a video to make the announcement that he is seeking re-election so that Brownsville residents did not hear it secondhand via chisme at a tamalada or Christmas party.

“I wanted you to hear it from me first: in the coming new year, I plan to run re-election for Mayor of Brownsville to help see our progress through. I’ll have more details to share in the New Year, but rest assured, just as I did in my first campaign, I plan to work every day to earn your trust.”

In the video, Martinez said:

“My friends, I am Tony Martinez and I just wanted to tell you, so you don’t hear it from chisme at a tamalada or Christmas party, I am running for re-election for mayor of the City of Brownsville. 

“When we first started this campaign, close to eight years ago, my slogan was, Believe in Brownsville. I believe in Brownsville now more than ever. 

“I think we have the ability to afford our children all the opportunities they deserve. We have been successful working together, not just one person, not just two people but all of us together to meet the challenges that we have met and we have done. 

“And so, I just wanted to convey that to you, to talk to you about that and say, you know, we can do all of his and we want to continue to do it because we want to build Brownsville to the place where it really, truly, belongs. 

“So, with your help and your vote and your support in every which way I can get it, I would appreciate your help in getting me re-elected to be the mayor of the City of Brownsville once again so that we can continue to work better and offer all of our kids all the things they so richly deserve. 

“And so, with that in mind, I will be visiting with you as often as we need to. For right now it is a good time to think about the holiday season, enjoy your vacations, enjoy your travel, enjoy your family, more than anything, enjoy your friends. Un Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo. And, God willing, in the beginning of the year we will again continue to visit some more, talk some more and get together some more so we can win one more time. Thank you very much.”