EDINBURG, TEXAS – For the latest in our Meet the Candidate podcast series, Rio Grande Guardian editor Steve Taylor met up with John Villarreal Rigney.

Villarreal Rigney, a Democrat, is running for the open Texas Congressional District 15 seat. The seat is open because incumbent U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez has moved to a neighboring district.

In the podcast, Villarreal Rigney, an attorney and small businessman, listed some of his priorities. On education he said he would work to increase teacher pay and benefits and provide better resources for public education. On veterans’ issues, Villarreal Rigney said he would work to upgrade the GI Bill and the VA Home Loan program. On healthcare, he said he would fight to provide more affordable prescription drugs, provide accessible healthcare for special needs children, and expand benefits for disabled Americans.


On economic opportunity, Villarreal Rigney said he would strongly support small businesses and support a living wage in South Texas.

“The business community in the Valley is huge. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They need representation in Washington,” Villarreal Rigney said.

“Business leaders came up to me and said, John, you would be perfect for this.”

Villarreal Rigney pointed out he has been endorsed by others who were thinking of running for CD 15, such as Roberto Haddad, of DHR Health, and Hidalgo County’s Health Authority, Dr. Ivan Melendez, MD. 

He added: “My top issues? Everything is going to be related to family. Border security, healthcare, education, it all relates back to our family. Protecting our law enforcement officers, our front line responders, all of that is part of my family agenda.”

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