EDINBURG, Texas – This past weekend, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn unveiled the names of over 100 South Texas leaders supporting his re-election.

Texas’ senior senator, a Republican, is up against Democratic challenger MJ Hegar in the Nov. 3 election. A number of the South Texas leaders supporting Cornyn were with him for a campaign event at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance on Saturday.

But, how many of the 100-plus supporters listed in a Cornyn news release are Democrats? Possibly not many. For, among the elected officials from the Rio Grande Valley backing Cornyn, only one, Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez, ever has to get through a Democratic Party primary. 

The remaining elected officials from the Valley backing Cornyn are either mayors or city council members or commissioners. As city elections are not party political, voters do not elect them because they are Democrat or Republican.

Cornyn touted an impressive number of mayors from South Texas. They included McAllen’s Jim Darling, Pharr’s Ambrosio Hernandez, Harlingen’s Chris Boswell, Laredo’s Pete Saenz, Mission’s Armando O’Caña, Palmhurst’s Ramiro Rodriguez, Donna’s Rick Morales, Elsa’s Alonzo Perez, Jr., Hidalgo’s Sergio Coronado, Weslaco’s David Suarez, Mercedes’ Henry Hinojosa, La Feria’s Olga Maldonado, Palm Valley’s George Rivera, Laguna Vista’s Susie Houston, and South Padre Island’s Patrick McNulty.

None of these mayors are elected for their party affiliation. They could be Republican or Democrat.

Of those in attendance at the campaign event that spoke, just a few said they are Democrats.

“There’s no question I am a hardcore Democrat but I have to do what is best for Pharr,” said Hernandez, the Pharr mayor.

Saenz, the Laredo mayor, said he is an independent. 

Suarez, the Weslaco mayor, said he is a Democrat. 

Roger Rocha, a former leader of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said he is a Democrat who is backing Cornyn.

Cornyn’s support among elected officials appears strongest in the City of Pharr. In addition to Mayor Hernandez, he has the support of city commissioners Roberto ‘Bobby’ Carrillo, Ramiro Caballero, Daniel Chavez, Ricardo Medina, and Itza Flores. The only Pharr city commissioner not listed on Cornyn’s news release is Eleazar Guajardo.

Cornyn also has strong support among McAllen leaders. In addition to Mayor Darling, city commissioners Victor ‘Seby’ Haddad, Javier Villalonos, and Omar Quintanilla are listed as backing Cornyn. So too is McAllen Chamber of Commerce president Steve Ahlenius.

Here, in three images, is the complete list of South Texas leaders backing Cornyn:

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news feature shows U.S. Sen. John Cornyn with some of the South Texas leaders endorsing his re-election.

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