EL PASO, Texas – Well-known community leader and politician Barbara Perez died Friday afternoon after contracting Covid-19, her husband said.
Perez, 76, had served as an El Paso city representative, county commissioner and member of the Socorro school board, among numerous other posts during her long career.
She ran unsuccessfully for El Paso mayor and county judge. She was also a founding member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
She was diagnosed with Covid-19 on Oct. 29 and went into the hospital five days later.
“She was my partner, my wife,” said Paul Perez, who was married to Barbara for 36 years. “I love her; I’ll miss her dearly.”
Cindy Ramos-Davidson, the chief executive officer for the El Paso Hispanic Chamber, said Perez was a "powerful voice for the community while maintaining the grace of a lady."
"She had a heart of gold," Ramos-Davidson said. "She learned that you could disagree and still walk away friends. She loved El Paso, was a strong advocate for small, minority- and Hispanic-owned businesses and always wanted to do what was right."
Perez served as an El Paso city representative from 1993 to 1999, was on the Board of Trustees for the Socorro Independent School District in 2002-04 and served as a member of the El Paso County Commissioners Court from 2004-05.