Sullivan City mayor says he's backing Peña, not Saenz
EDINBURG, January 11, 2008 - Sullivan City Mayor Gumaro 'Maro' Flores, father of state Rep. Ismael “Kino” Flores, tells the Guardian that he is backing state Rep. Aaron Peña in House District 40.
In a news release issued Thursday, Democratic primary challenger Eddie Saenz said Mayor Flores was backing his campaign to unseat Peña. The Saenz camp also provided Valley media outlets with a photo of the mayor and the candidate.
“I’m backing Rep. Aaron Peña for House District 40,” Mayor Flores said, in a telephone interview Friday. “Aaron has been working with Kino in Austin for many years. My boy wants Aaron Peña re-elected because he works with him at the state Capitol.”
Asked why the Saenz camp would say he had endorsed Saenz, Flores said he did not know. “There’s been some miscommunication somewhere,” the mayor said.
Asked when the photo with Saenz was taken, Mayor Flores said, “three days ago.”
The Saenz news release said mayors in District 40 were backing Saenz because they wanted positive change in Austin.
“Eddie will put people first and politics last,” Flores is quoted as saying. “My fellow mayors and I believe that's the kind of leadership our region needs in Austin to help deal with the challenges we face.”
Sullivan City is in District 40.
“These are the sort of dirty tricks we have seen throughout my opponent’s desperate campaign,” Peña said.
Saenz said he valued Mayor Flores' friendship.
“I appreciate Mayor Flores' willingness to support me, as he has in the past, and I understand the pressure that puts him under,” Saenz said. “He continues to have my friendship and respect.”