This is your Friday update, which takes a quick look at the week ahead and some developments that El Paso Matters is following.
Election Day is Tuesday for Primary Runoffs: Texas Democrats and Republicans will pick their final 2022 nominees on Tuesday, May 24, when runoff elections from the March 1 primaries will be decided. Turnout so far has been exceedingly light. As of Thursday, just 2% of El Paso County’s nearly 500,000 registered voters had cast ballots. Early voting ends today, Friday, and polls on Tuesday will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Use our runoff voter guide as you prepare to cast your ballots.
For Republicans, the big race is incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton’s battle to fend off a challenge from Land Commissioner George W. Bush. The only GOP runoff in El Paso is the County Commissioner Precinct 4 contest between Blanca Trout and David Adams.
Democrats will settle runoffs for lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller and land commissioner. In El Paso, the two biggest Democratic contests are County Commissioner Precinct 2, between incumbent David Stout and Judy Gutierrez; and County Commissioner Precinct 4, where Sergio Coronado is challenging incumbent Carl Robinson.
County May Establish Women’s Commission: A week after the El Paso City Council voted to establish a city women’s commission, the El Paso County Commissioners Court on May 16 approved moving forward with the establishment of an El Paso County Women’s Commission. The court directed staff to bring back a commission budget, possible staffing and an operational structure for discussion. Unlike the city’s commission, the county did not directly say its commission was in response to the possible end of Roe v. Wade. While the city’s commission is being set up to protect women’s rights, including the right to abortion, the proposed work for the county commission includes making recommendations and working on legislative initiatives, policy, programs and studies.
EPISD Superintendent Makes New Leadership Hires: El Paso Independent School District Superintendent Diana Sayavedra has made five new administrative hires, which the school board approved May 17. Marivel Macias, an assistant superintendent at Socorro ISD, was named chief organizational transformation and equity officer. Glenn Nathan, current superintendent of Sierra Blanca ISD, was tapped as assistant superintendent of student services. Canutillo ISD Marketing and Communications Officer Liza Rodriguez was hired as chief communications officer. Joseph Villalba, Goose Creek ISD’s director of purchasing and warehouse operations, will join EPISD as executive director of procurement and school resources. Interim Director of Athletics David Cervantes was hired permanently to the role. Sayavedra took the reins as superintendent in January. In neighboring Socorro ISD, Tamekia Brown, EPISD’s former chief academic officer, was named this week as deputy superintendent of human resources, curriculum & instruction, and assistant superintendent of schools.
Texas Tech El Paso Contributes Millions To Economy: A business report conducted by Texas Tech University Rawls College of Business states that Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso contributes $634.4 million to El Paso’s economy annually. The report, "Economic Impacts of Texas Tech University System and Component Institutions,” also showed that TTUHSC El Paso’s impact on household incomes, created from operations, employees, research, students and university-related visitors, is $212.8 million in the region, and the total number of jobs created is 3,813. TTUHSC El Paso became an independent campus in 2013.