On Jan. 12, at high noon, I officially vacated my seat in the Texas Senate after ten years of service.

My voluntary retirement comes after almost 45 years of public service in various roles in the Federal Government and Farmworker Legal Services, and as El Paso County Attorney and Texas State Senator.

Throughout my career, I have been blessed with support from my family, especially my wife Carmen, a pillar of patience, encouragement, and inspiration for the last 37 years. I served almost 30 of those years as your County Attorney and State Senator, and for that, I’m indebted to you and the people of El Paso and SD 29, who bestowed on me the honor and privilege of serving my community and the State of Texas.

I did not serve alone. Whatever I accomplished in the Senate is shared with my Senate Staff, especially my Chief of Staff Sushma Jasti Smith, and District Director Sito Negron, without whose dedication and hard work I could not successfully achieve our mission. Thanks also to those of you who served in the SD 29 Citizen Advisory Committees, which provided us with input on legislation.

I also appreciate every citizen who voted for me or not and gave me advice, feedback, or criticism, and thereby made me a better public servant. And finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize and thank all the public elected and appointed officials with whom I worked to make Texas a better place.

I leave the elected official arena but I remain committed to the good fight for change to improve people’s lives and make this world a better place for everyone. I hope to see you there with me.


José Rodríguez

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by José Rodríguez, a former state senator from El Paso, Texas. The column appears in The Rio Grande Guardian with the author’s approval.

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