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Regrets? Norma Chavez (Probably) Had a Few

But in the End She Did it Her Way
by Published on

It was dirty. It was expensive (like seven-figures expensive) and in the end it was all for nada. So closes a chapter in Democratic State Rep. Norma Chavez’s bid for reelection to El Paso’s District 76.

I for one, am un poco triste. Because I enjoyed watching Norma barrel through the Capitol in her black leather motorcycle jacket. You never knew what kooky thing she’d say. And me, I like a pol that keeps me guessing and wanting more of that down home kookiness.

But this isn’t about my entertainment, folks. It’s about El Paso and la gente have spoken. At least 6,888 gente that is of the approximately 73,000 voters in the district. A slim margin indeed. And only 47 percent of them stuck up for the biker chick.

The other 52 percent cast their lot with Naomi Gonzalez, an assistant county attorney,  and a dewy-eyed political newbie.

In the end, I suppose,  it was dropping the L-word and not playing well with other El Paso politicos that did Norma in. She just ran out of friends. That and the anti-incumbency vibe roiling voters.

As a veteran staffer (I survived!) of the 2003 legislative session, which was a bloodbath — with a $10 billion shortfall and a bad economy to boot — I can tell you that 2011 is going to make that perfect crapola storm look like pan dulce.

With an estimated $11 billion to $20 billion shortfall, statewide teacher layoffs, redistricting and an economic recession on the horizon, Norma shouldn’t be so sad to sit 2011 out.

Melissa del Bosque joined The Texas Observer staff in 2008. She specializes in reporting on immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border. Her work has been published in national and international publications including TIME magazine and the Mexico City-based Nexos magazine. Melissa is a 2014-15 Lannan Fellow at The Investigative Fund.