Politics

Former EP mayor plans to run for county judge; Escobar considering congressional bid

Former EP mayor plans to run for...

EL PASO, Texas - Former El Paso Mayor John Cook told ABC-7 he plans to run for El Paso County Judge and will file his campaign treasurer paperwork this week.

County Judge Veronica Escobar, who told ABC-7's Mauricio Casillas Monday she is strongly considering running for Congress.

"I spoke with Judge Escobar last night and she wanted to meet with me to talk about the direction the county is taking and some of her initiatives," Cook said.

Friday, El Paso Congressman Beto O'Rourke announced he is running for US Senate in 2018. O'Rourke wants to challenge incumbent Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican, but would need to win the Democratic primary first.

"I am definitely, strongly considering the congressional seat," Escobar said Monday, "The congressman and I had a conversation about it late last year. Members of the community have approached me, but we're still far out."

Escobar would not confirm if she will run for reelection if she decides not to run for Congress. "It is really important to me that we have a very strong advocate for the border," the county judge said.

 

"What Beto did is he started a game of musical chairs and I want to make sure I have an opportunity to run for County Judge," Cook said, "After seeing the caliber of candidates we have running for city council and the mayor's seat, I wanted to make sure there were good candidates in the county."

In a Facebook post late Sunday night, Cook revealed he already "took the first step to begin our campaign."  The former mayor "asked for God's blessing" after Sunday mass and posted a photograph of him receiving a priest's blessing.

In the November 2014 election, Cook's bid to become the first Democrat elected to a statewide office in Texas in decades, failed.  The former mayor ran for Texas Land Commissioner, but lost to George P. Bush, the grandson and nephew of the former presidents.

ABC-7 also asked the other four members of Commissioners Court if they were considering a run for County Judge. Commissioners Andrew Haggerty, Carlos Leon and David Stout said they were not considering a County Judge run at this time. Commissioner Vince Perez could not be reached for comment.    


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