EL PASO, Texas - There are four candidates for the El Paso City Representative District 4 seat. Almost all of them agree streets are a priority in northeast, but there are some issues that set them apart.
The District 4 seat is currently held by Rep. Carl Robinson. He is not running for re-election.
Candidate Sam Morgan is the owner of El Paso Conceal and Carry.
"The average person feels as though they have been regulated to the sideline. That they don't matter in the city of El Paso. That they don't have a representative that has a strong enough presence or voice to command things that we need out here in the northeast," Morgan said.
Morgan said after speaking with many voters, it's clear one of the top priorities is street repairs.
"The No.1 issue is streets and roads. A lot of folks might not think that that is a real issue, but it is a real issue when it comes to a quality of life out here when the streets and roads are in disrepair. We have some neighborhoods that are over 40 or 50 years old, that have never been repaved," Morgan said.
Candidate Diana Ramos previously worked with U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, in Washington, D.C. She believes outdated infrastructure is another pressing need in District 4.
"The outdated stormwater plans that haven't been updated in more than 10 years. So we can't wait for the next flood, for the next rain to fall from the mountain. We need to be a little more proactive to make sure that infrastructure is not only maintained, but that we can look for better ways to implement that infrastructure needed to deal with the flooding," Ramos said.
She believes knowing to to navigate government is among her strongest skills for the job of being a representative.
"I think that has been missing from the local level in some ways. We set legislative priorities but the communications that happens at the state and federal levels sometimes lags behind, " Ramos said.
Candidate Jose Plasencia wants to bring the city's downtown arena to Cohen stadium to revitalize the northeast. The teacher is also studying to get his massage license.
"I saw a lot of inconsistences in City Council . I saw the lack of transparency. I also saw the lack of democracy. And I think a lot people when I talk to them, I think they feel the same way. And they have a disbelief of what city council represents right now and we are trying to get that trust back to the people," Plasencia said.
Plasencia wants to look at different ways to save the city money.
"When somebody gets pulled over for a small amount of marijuana, instead of the policeman taking them to jail and processing and everything, they would eventually get a citation for it and that eliminates the police from not being able to do better things and going after the bad guys," Plasencia said.
Candidate Shane Haggerty is a member of the Ysleta Independent School Board of Trustees.
"The No.1 thing talking to community members is our streets. Our streets out here are horrible. The city was given $218 million and a plan to get in there and fix all the streets, and it hasn't been done. I don't think even a quarter of that money has been spent, so our streets are still horrible," Haggerty said.
He also has a plan for Cohen Stadium.
"Really what we need for Cohen is a viable sustainable project that can revitalize the area, bring in jobs and growth that used to be there and just isn't. In order to do that we need to look at putting Cohen in private hands, because as its sitting right now in city hands it is doing nothing but deteriorating," Haggerty said.
Early voting started Monday. Election day is May 6.