Rayo-Garza our choice in the 125th

January 27, 2019

The special election to fill Justin Rodriguez’s seat in House District 125 has drawn five candidates, four Democrats and one Republican.

We recommend Democrat Coda Rayo-Garza, a newcomer to running for public office but no policy novice.

Other candidates have more experience in office. Ray Lopez is a former San Antonio city councilman who served eight years and a former school board trustee. Art Reyna, an attorney, is a former state representative. But in Rayo-Garza we see the promise of an earnest representative who brings fresh ideas and a new voice to state policymaking.

Like the other candidates, she sees public school financing as a legislative priority. She said she will seek to revamp the formula for school financing; identify revenue streams that are sustainable, beyond the extra funds the state comptroller says will be available this session; look at closing the so-called “dark store” loophole by which commercial properties are allowed to lower their property taxes; and look at whether the state lottery is paying its fair share to education.

Rayo-Garza has experience that gives her knowledge of public education and policymaking. She is a senior coordinator at San Antonio Independent School District, and worked at a local nonprofit that sought to help Bexar County children succeed in school and in the offices of Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales and then-Councilman Ron Nirenberg.

She is a staunch foe of school vouchers and believes there should be a level playing field on accountability for charter schools.

Rayo-Garza grew up in a colonia in the Valley and will bring knowledge of that region to the office as well.

This is a special election to finish Rodriguez’s term. Rodriguez was named a Bexar County commissioner following the death of Paul Elizondo.

Lopez is also a viable choice for this state seat, but Rayo-Garza, we believe, is the better candidate, one who brings more promise of challenging political convention to address the state’s many inequities.

Early voting begins Monday.