San Antonio Mayoral Race -- Why I Support Julian Castro
The seventh largest city in the United States will be electing a new mayor on June 7th. San Antonio has a choice in this runoff election between two candidates who strike a considerable contrast: Judge Phil Hardberger and Julian Castro
The pseudonymous "Cincinattius" at The Jeffersonian Blog supports Hardberger. I have linked and excerpted his endorsement; it is followed by my own response.
The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture: Why I'm Voting For Phil Hardberger
"While having followed the mayoral race intensely since the end of 2004/beginning of 2005, it's only been fairly recently that I've come to decide on a candidate. Many, many things go into me choosing who to vote for, and they differ based on the different levels of government. But if there is one solid thread between all of them it is this- the staus quo isn't working at any level of government, anyone reading this blog knows this; we need, broad, bold leadership that is able to bring everyone to the table and challenge the status quo, someone who shows political courage when it is needed(not just as a sideshow), and a person who can help forge compromises- even if that means locking people in a room and kicking their asses until it gets done. Judge Phil Hardberger is the right person to do this as mayor of San Antonio."
Here is my response:
I wish my city could have a candidate like Julian Castro to vote for. Instead, my city (like most cities) is run by an individual who does an excellent job of representing the status quo in the same way that Mr. Hardberger would if he were elected. Nothing in Mr. Hardberger's background or campaign for this office has indicated that he could offer the "broad, bold leadership" that you crave, Cincinnatus, and so I respectfully disagree with your endorsement of Hardberger and your criticism of Mr. Julian Castro.
Pointing out that after a career in politics Hardberger has been able to win the support of some established status quo powers is an unimpressive spin on his establishment bona fides. You have differentiated between process and substance, and yet Hardberger's roll of supporters substantively promises that he will be aligned with more of the same, only more so.
How can one advocate change and a fresh approach and simultaneously be dazzled by the support of established powers in politics that are deeply interested in ingratiating themselves with the candidate they may feel is the safest bet for a win? If San Antonio needs a public servant "who can bridge the gap," then Julian Castro is the man to do it. Selecting a candidate that is beholden to all is not tantamount to having the ability to bring different interests together; in fact it creates for Hardberger an incentive to not "rock the boat" lest he displease one of his contributors.
Your objections to Julian Castro seem like innuendo rather than substance; none of them truly address how Mayor Julian Castro will lead. And sentimentally imagining that Hardberger "sees this as a capstone to his life" seems antithetical to your desire for a mayor that will shake things up and challenge the status quo. This race is not for a lifetime achievement award, it is for mayor of one of the most important cities in the nation. This mayor needs to lead, not be lead out to pasture with an "attaboy" and a mandate to cautiously pursue mediocrity.
I am sure that everyone can respect that you have the integrity to support a candidate that does not apparently fit your own demographic interests. But I hope that everyone will remember when they cast their ballot in this important election that Julian Castro esta de nosotros gente tambien. He is an American, a Texan and a San Antonian that will vigorously pursue the true interests of the people of San Antonio as mayor, and will continue to do so for the rest of his promising political career.