Last Saturday, May 5, the City of Del Rio elected Bruno "Ralphy" Lozano mayor who happens to be a U.S. Air Force veteran and openly, flamboyantly gay. Ironically, Del Rio has for decades been known as the "Queen City".
Lozano defeated longtime incumbent Mayor Robert Garza 2,128, or 61.54 percent to 1,330, or 38.46 percent, but voter turnout was considered low. Only 3,458 voted for mayor out of a city with a population of 36,000.
Garza was viewed as a terrible candidate who ran city council meetings like his own private club. He also was known to berate and disrespect citizens and city employees in public meetings.
Lozano's election compliments Democrat and lesbian Gina Ortiz-Jones who is running for congress in the Democrat primary in the congressional district that includes Del Rio. If she wins the primary she will challenge Congressman Will Hurd.
While it appears this election was a perfect storm of one very bad candidate and a very disinterested electorate, it will be interesting to see how Lozano's election and Ortiz-Jones' campaign are interpreted by pundits and the media. Hispanics are often described as natural conservatives with traditional-family values, but they (like all voters) will not turnout if they feel candidates are not worthy of their votes.