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Saturday, March 2, 2013 - 23:16
In just a few short months, El Pasoans will hit the polls to choose a new mayor. There are eight candidates in the race: Steve Ortega, Robert Cormell, Hector Lopez, Gus Haddad, Jorge Artalejo, Dino Martinez, Jaime Perez, and Oscar Leeser.
Mayor John Cook wishes candidates best of luck as they fight for his seat, but reminds them the race isn't personal - it's about serving El Paso.
"We really need to set the example that it's time for positive campaigns. Let's just talk to people about what they're going to do rather than talk about negative things," said Cook.
Mayor Cook hopes his successor will make city growth a priority.
"This is all about quality of life and economic development. So, I'm hoping that the next administration will follow through. We're going to pass the torch to them, it's burning brightly right now, and I hope that they would follow through with the spirit of what we've started," said Cook.
But plans to build a $50 million baseball stadium, and demolish city hall, are controversial among El Pasoans and candidates alike. Now, the question is, who can present a stronger case to win over a majority?
We asked some El Pasoans what they'd like to see the new mayor bring to the Sun City.
"I like to think that they would bring more attractions to the City because it's a big city but it's a boring city, and we need more things to do. Attractions would help out a lot, for kids especially," said Michael Lopez.
"Have more job opportunities because we have a high unemployment rate," said Alex Maragoudakis.
"Given the recent issues we've had with local politics, I believe that the biggest issue that the next mayor should bring to the city is public trust," said Javier Martinez, a student at UTEP.
The Miners Mining America student organization at UTEP is hosting a mayoral debate on Saturday, March 28th at 5PM, at UTEP's Union Cinema. So far, Steve Ortega, Hector Lopez, and Robert Cormell have all confirmed their attendance.