• COMMENTARY: No ‘backroom’ deal made for congressional seat ~ Ric Godínez, HCDP Chair

    I am normally a fan of our local newspapers and particularly look forward to political stories that The Monitor often writes. I read with great interest stories that focus on local politics — some good, some bad — but always consistent with fundamental principles of inclusion, transparency, honesty and trustworthiness, which should always be the bedrock of all democracies, including local governments. Because those values are consistent with the core values and beliefs of the Democratic Party, I have always felt a kinship and partnership with our largest local newspaper. Which is why the Dec. 3 article, “Mission Latina trying to make political history,” was so troubling to me.

    While I was thrilled to learn that Democratic voters will have another excellent candidate to consider for the 15th Congressional District — to continue the success of retiring U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa in the Democratic Primary Election on March 1, 2016 — my elation quickly turned to disappointment. After naming the current three announced candidates, Monitor Editor Carlos Sanchez named “anonymous sources” as being dissatisfied and having “closed door meetings” apparently to find a candidate more “suitable to many members of the Democratic establishment.”

    My disappointment stems from the many years I’ve followed The Monitor’s investigative reporting and editorials criticizing numerous local governments for lack of transparency and backroom-deal politics, which voters deplore and only weaken our democracy. As chairman of the Hidalgo County Democratic Party, overseeing more than 80 active precinct chairs who work diligently on GOTV efforts and defending our constitutional voting rights, I can say unequivocally that there have been no meetings of the “Democratic establishment” to handpick any candidate. The voters in Hidalgo County can be assured of a free and fair Democratic primary. We do not choose our leaders like an episode of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire! We choose them as our Constitution dictates and as intended by our forefathers — through honest and open elections.

    On the contrary, the principles of the Democratic Party deplore any such antiquated notion of backroom deals. We welcome all eligible persons who are interested in representing us in Washington, D.C., or locally to run for office, regardless of gender, race, color or sexual orientation. We welcome the diversity of individuals and personalities and look forward to learning their political views and visions for our community and country. And as a party, we will always encourage those principles.

    If, in fact, there are a group of individuals who seek to find their own candidate, as reported in The Monitor, then it certainly is not representative of the “Democratic establishment,” and likely more consistent with someone’s personal agenda. And I would think that if The Monitor truly desires to report important community news that is consistent with its values of transparent, honest and open government, then it would be the first to identify its sources instead of relying on anonymous, self-interested persons lurching in smoke-filled, backroom deals.

    Ricardo “Ric” Godinez is a McAllen attorney and chairman of the Hidalgo County Democratic Party.

  • Ballot Bash 2015

  • Application_for_Place_on_the_Ballot

    Filing Fee Information for Candidates for Public Office

    Thinking about running for a public office in 2016? Here are the filing fees for the various offices.

    Federal Level Offices (must file with state political party)

    U.S. Representative                    $3,125

    Railroad Commissioner             $3,750

    Chief Justice & Justice, Supreme Court          $3,750

    Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals                     $3,750

    State Level Offices – Must file with state political party because the districts are state-wide or include more than one county. If district is completely within ONE county, the candidate must file with the county political party.

    State Senator                       $1,250

    State Representative             $750

    Member, State Board of Education    4300

    Chief Justice and Justice, Court of Appeals        $1,875

    District Judge/Criminal/Family District Judge        $1,500

    County Level Offices – Must file with COUNTY political party. Call 956-283-4669 for info.

    Judge, County Court-at-Law           $1,500

    Judge, County Criminal Court        $1,500

    Judge, County Probate Court          $1,500

    County Tax Assessor-Collector        $1,250

    County Commissioner                       $1,250

    County Sheriff                                     $1,250

    Justice of the Peace                           $1,000

    Constable                                            $1,000

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    Kickass Kickoff 2015 CEC Meeting – Jan. 10, 2015

    20141213_095835Join Hidalgo County Democratic Party precinct chairs for a kickass, kickoff County Executive Committee meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday, January 10, 2015, McAllen Public Library. What’s in store for the new year? Come help us decide!