A silver lining if Prado wins a state House seat
Connie Prado’s possible bid for the Texas Legislature is some of the best news coming out of the South Side in a long time.
A successful bid for the House seat would force Prado to give up her seat on the South San Antonio Independent School District board, resolving many of the beleaguered district’s chronic problems.
In an unusual announcement at the end of November, Prado said her intentions are to bypass the political party primaries and file as an independent to get on the general election ballot in the fall.
She is eyeing the Texas House District 117 seat currently held by Democrat Philip Cortez, whose campaign Prado has supported in the past.
Cortez is facing Terisha DeDeaux in the Democratic primary in March. The winner in that race will face off with either Carlos Antonio Raymond or Michael Berlanga, who are vying for the Republican nomination.
It will be an uphill battle for Prado to gain the seat as an independent candidate, but stranger things have happened in Texas politics.
Granted, success at the polls would mean she would go to Austin, but the upside is that freshmen legislators don’t wield much power, legislators serve only two-year terms, there is always a crowd of challengers each election cycle, and incumbency does not carry any guarantee of re-election.
Regrettably, school board members don’t have to give up their seats to make a bid for higher office. They have to resign only if they win. South San board member Helen Madla, for example, got to keep her seat on the South San board after her unsuccessful bid in 2016 for the Democratic nomination for the District 19 Texas Senate seat.
Over in Harlandale ISD, Tomas Uresti gave up his school board position only after he was elected to the Texas House District 118 seat.
Prado’s political campaigns are always interesting, and this promises to be no different. Her campaigns get a heavy behind-the-scenes assist from her husband, Raul Prado, a former San Antonio city councilman and one of several high profile individuals caught up in a public corruption scandal more than 15 years ago that rocked City Hall and the local community college district.
Connie Prado filed her declaration of intent to run for the District 117 seat with the Texas Secretary of State’s Office at the end of last month. She must submit signatures from voters in the district to get on the ballot.
Unlike most candidates seeking state office and eager for publicity, Prado refused to speak to Express-News education writer Lauren Caruba and would only provide a copy of her candidacy announcement.
Her plans are to draft 10 position papers on issues facing the district, the announcement said, and she will talk to the news media only after they are ready.
Seems to me that if she is the one drafting these position papers on school finance, governance, redistricting, annexation and immigration, she would have enough working knowledge of those issues to grant a quick interview.
In her candidacy announcement, she states, “In the event one of my general election opponents agrees to embrace and demonstrate their support for each of theses major issues, my candidacy will not be necessary.”
What is that about?
The district is nearing the two-year mark of a Texas Education Agency conservator overseeing the district due to severe governance issues.
The South San school board is going through some major changes. Two of its seven members recently resigned, and the remaining board members will make appointments to fill those slots.
Prado’s little sideshow is distracting for South San and raises questions about her end game.
Can’t help but wish I was qualified to vote in District 117 should Prado’s name end up on the ballot.