Ciro D. Rodriguez

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Ciro D. Rodriguez is a Texas Democrat who represents the 23rd district in the U.S. House. Rodriguez had previously served in the U.S. House from 1997 until 2004, when he lost his seat because of Tom Delay's redistricting plan, see 2003 Texas redistricting. Rodriguez was an educator before entering Congress, and he has a strong record on Veteran's affairs.

2006 Campaigns

In 2006, he ran for Congress from Texas' 28th District against conservative Democratic incumbent Henry Cuellar, see Texas U.S. House election, 2006, but he lost the regular primary on March 7th. However, a court redrew several Congressional Districts, and ordered special primary elections on November 7, 2006. Rodriguez filed to run in the adjacent and redrawn 23rd District, and he defeated incumbent Henry Bonilla (R) in the runoff on December 12, 2006. Rodriguez was the overwhelming favorite in Maverick County on the U.S.-Mexican border, home to Eagle Pass. Bonilla was strong in the Medina and Uvalde counties west of San Antonio. Rodriguez and Bonilla were even in Val Verde County, where Laughlin Air Force Base is located. Source: n.a. "Rodriguez wins Election." Star-Telgram & Associated Press. December 13, 2006. New Article.

Background

From Ciro Rodriquez's campaign website [1]:

In the Texas House of Representatives, Mr. Rodriguez chaired the important Local and Consent Calendar Committee, served on the Public Health and the Higher Education Committees, and presided as a vice chairman of the Legislative Study Group. From 1975 to 1987, Mr. Rodriguez served as a board member of the Harlandale Independent School District, worked as an educational consultant for the Intercultural Development Research Association, and served as a caseworker with the Department of Mental Health & Mental Retardation. From 1987 to 1996, he taught at Our Lady of the Lake University’s Worden School of Social Work.
Congressman Rodriguez attended San Antonio College and later received his BA in Political Science from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. He received his Masters of Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University.

Also from Ciro's campaign website [2]:

....After leaving Congress in January 2005, he joined with his former chief of staff, Jeff Mendelsohn, to create Rio Strategy Group LLC, a boutique government relations firm to assist clients at the local, state and national levels.
Mr. Rodriguez enjoyed a highly distinguished career in Congress as an accomplished advocate and effective legislator. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and Resources Committee, he passed legislation and obtained large amounts of special appropriations to benefit his constituents. As the Ranking Member of the Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health, he became a staunch advocate of guaranteed health care funding for veterans. Mr. Rodriguez led the Congressional Hispanic Caucus as chairman from 2003-2004 after four years as its Health Care Task Force Chairman.


From MoveOn.org [3]:

No Republican has entered the (2006 TX-28 House) race, so whoever wins the March 7th (2006) Democratic primary wins the seat. Ciro Rodriguez represented Texas’ 28th District from 1996 to 2004, when he lost to Democrat Henry Cuellar by just 204 votes in the primary. When Tom DeLay redistricted Texas they fixed it to hurt Rodriguez and help Cuellar. Now Rodriguez has a chance of winning back the seat, in part because of Cuellar’s vocal support of the Bush agenda. One in three votes cast by Cuellar have been in favor of Republican-sponsored legislation, including his support of the war in Iraq and for the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Rodriguez voted against the war in Iraq in 2002 and against the Bush Medicare drug law in 2003. Cuellar even campaigned for George Bush in 2000. Rodriguez’s campaign recently received a significant fundraising bump in February after progressive blogs featured a photo of the President’s warm greeting for Cuellar after his State of the Union address. But Cuellar still has the fundraising advantage, having banked $293,833 at the end of 2005. Rodriguez finished 2005 with only $43,071 in cash on hand. However, in January he hit the ground running with the support of organized labor, raising around $85,000. The AFL-CIO and the SEIU have both endorsed him, as has Democracy for America.

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