My fellow citizens, today I congratulate Mr. Javier Villalobos and Mrs. Veronica Whitacre on their successful campaign and wish them good luck on June 5. I encourage everyone to vote. It is not only your right, it is your obligation. 

I cannot proceed without thanking my supporters, my volunteers, for their hard work. To the few that voted for me, the only outsider in the race, and to my donors who made my mayoral challenge possible, I profusely, profoundly and sincerely thank each and every one of you, along with my family, and especially my wife, Elena, without whose love and support I would not be the man I am today. 

I have no regrets. I have no sadness. I have only a little disappointment. That is because while we were not successful we also did not fail. In the six short weeks we changed the course of the election. We changed the focus. Our issues became the mayoral issues. Our campaign was visionary and the voters of McAllen, including those of you who did not vote for me saw that vision. 

Perhaps most meaningful for me was the fact that so many young voters supported mye campaign. To them I say, don’t be discouraged with the results. This is just the beginning of the process for a change. Your vote does matter. Your vote is the first brick of the foundation on which your magnificent future will be built. 

As I will reiterate shortly, vote and encourage others to participate. To all my supporters I say this: know that because of our efforts, diversifying our economy, the focus on medical, manufacturing, and the technological industry became the topics of discussion. Public health, the development of a skilled workforce, improving and expanding our infrastructure became priorities. And, we can never forget and will not let our new mayor and city commission forget the need for transparency in government. 

The importance of supporting women and women entrepreneurs and our local heroes, our first responders who, especially as we deal with the dual dangers of COVID and the immigration crisis, need our total, unconditional, and complete support. I know they have mine and I am certain they have yours. 

These issues, I am confident, will remain at the forefront of our lives. I will remain active in keeping the focus on these priorities and look forward to helping the new mayor, whoever he or she may be, to make the solutions to our problems a reality. Just because you lose an election does not mean you stop serving the people. It does not mean you stop hearing, it does not mean you stop hoping. I am not deserting you, my fellow citizens. I am only doing what I have done every day as a physician, accepting reality. 

I look forward to seeing many of you at city commission meetings. Together we will demand accountability. Accountability leads to progress. And progress we shall. 

Thank you again for your support. I know that together we will make our beautiful city of McAllen the thriving metropolitan community that it was always meant to be. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay proud. Thank you so much and God bless you all. 

Editor’s Note The above guest column was penned by Rio Grande Valley physician and McAllen mayoral candidate, Dr. Shahid Rashid, MD. The column first appeared as a video message on Dr. Rashid’s Facebook page. It appears in The Rio Grande Guardian with the permission of the author. Dr. Rashid can be reached by email via: [email protected]

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