Mission councilman files for mayoral run

MISSION — A city councilman is challenging Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas in the upcoming May elections.

Armando O’Caña, Place 4 councilman, filed to run for mayor earlier this week against Salinas who has been in office for about 20 years.

O’Caña said he decided to run to further the projects the city has been working on.

“I think that we’re slowing down as a city,” O’Caña said. “As a city councilman, I’m seeing that happening.”

Specifically, the councilman referred to the stagnation of the Madero Bridge project. The city has a presidential permit to construct and operate an international bridge which expires in three years.

Last week, the Mission Economic Development Corporation approved an agreement with Pathfinder Public Affairs, a government affairs consulting firm, to help move the project along.

He also hoped to place more funds toward revitalizing the downtown area, saying he wasn’t able to convince the mayor to do that on the last budget.

“We did it five years ago and I just can’t get it back into the budget,” O’Caña said, adding that the west side of town also needed work.

In running against Salinas, O’Caña said he hopes to attract new voters by running on new ideas.

“I don’t want to say (I want to go in a) new direction because I’m committed to all the projects,” he said, “but to stimulate some of the things that are not happening in downtown (and) in the west.”

During Monday’s city council meeting, the council will vote on calling a special election to replace him.

So as not to spend extra funds on an additional election, O’Caña said he suggested the city hold the special election on the same day of the upcoming municipal elections May 5.

O’Caña has served in his current position since 2012 but he previously served on the city council for six years. He was also the volunteer and then part-time fire chief for 25 years.

“My slogan is, ‘Mission is my vision,’ I have a personal passion for Mission,” he said. “I’ve been a Missionite for 63 years and I will continue to serve Mission until the last breath that I have.”