State Rep. Bobby Guerra announces re-election bid

State Rep. R. D. “Bobby” Guerra, D-McAllen, announced Monday he will seek re-election to keep the post he has held since 2012.

Guerra’s name will be on the Democratic ballot in March 2020 during the primaries known as Super Tuesday ahead of the November 2020 general election. If Guerra gets through the primary, he may have Republican opposition, as he did in 2016 and 2018 when Guerra defeated Republican challenger Hilda Garza de Shazo in both elections. The most recent victory sent Guerra back to Austin for another state legislative session, which concluded in May.

“This past legislative session we answered the voters’ demands, accomplishing real school finance reform, pay raises for teachers, school safety measures and disaster recovery,” Guerra said in a statement.

Guerra and other Democratic South Texas lawmakers this past session sought to make a larger impact in part through vocally supporting first-year Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, a Republican of Angleton who made an early trip to the Rio Grande Valley as he corralled support from colleagues across the state.

And once the 86th legislative session was underway in January, Bonnen appointed three committee chairs from the Valley.

“I think the Valley overall fared out well,” State Rep. Armando “Mando” Martinez, D-Weslaco, said at the time. Martinez was not appointed a committee chair — State Reps. Terry Canales, Ryan Guillen and Eddie Lucio III were the three South Texas legislators appointed to chair committees — but he was appointed a vice chair.

Most Valley lawmakers spoke positively about the recent legislative session, and so did Guerra, whose District 41 represents much of McAllen and parts of Alton, Edinburg, Palmhurst and Mission.

However, Guerra cautioned that “we still have work to do to ensure sustainable funding for schools, especially pre-K, address the rising cost of health care, and protect the Hazelwood Act and fully honor our promise to veterans,” Guerra said.