PRESS RELEASE: Texas Border Leaders Endorse Senator Cornyn
Bipartisan Group of Nearly 40 Public Officials, Law Enforcement Back Senator's Campaign
October 2, 2008AUSTIN-A bipartisan group of nearly 40 leaders from across the Texas border region endorsed Senator Cornyn's campaign today for his strong Senate record of advocating Texas values. This latest round of endorsements comes in addition to some three dozen South Texas elected officials, and civic and business leaders who announced their support for Senator Cornyn in May.
"These law enforcement and public officials work along the Texas border each day to keep families safe and improve their communities. I am honored to receive their endorsements," Senator Cornyn said. "I will continue working with them and their colleagues to improve the economy, security, health care and education along the border."
In addition to the new endorsements, Rio Grande Valley business leader and political activist Rigo Villarreal is taking leave from a top Hidalgo County position to work full time until the election in support of Senator Cornyn's campaign. Villarreal was among those endorsing Senator Cornyn in May.
In May, more than 30 elected officials, past and present, business and civic leaders endorsed Senator Cornyn during an event in Donna. The bipartisan group pledged their support to Senator Cornyn in recognition of his leadership and dedication on issues of importance to all Texans, particularly those along the border. Among the leaders were county judges, mayors and veterans. See here and here for more information on Senator Cornyn's previous endorsements.
What Texas border leaders are saying about Senator Cornyn
Sigifredo "Sigi" Gonzalez, Sheriff, Zapata County: "Senator Cornyn has done an outstanding job to help border law enforcement officials meet the modern challenges in our region. Thanks to his support, we are better able to keep South Texas families safe."
Arvin West, Sheriff, Hudspeth County: "We've faced many difficult issues in recent years, particularly addressing border incursions and violence. Senator Cornyn has been there for us. He understands border issues and law enforcement. We absolutely must keep him in the Senate."
Leo Longoria, Police Chief, City of Mission: "Senator Cornyn has done a great job of working with both parties to support law enforcement officials in the fight against border violence, drugs and gangs. He has paid attention to our needs and always works to make sure we can best take on crime and protect Rio Grande Valley children."
John Montoya, Former Chief, Border Patrol, Laredo Sector: "Senator Cornyn has led efforts to support the Border Patrol. As our job got tougher in recent years, he stepped up. We need him in the Senate not just for Texas families, but for the good of our national security."
Jeff Parson, Former Assistant Chief, Border Patrol, Del Rio Sector: "This outpouring of support is a clear indication that Senator Cornyn has paid attention to border needs, and he takes action. He has earned our strong backing and the support of all Texans for re-election."
Donald Reay, Former Customs Investigator, El Paso: "When it comes to the border, Senator Cornyn knows security is paramount. He also understands we must balance security with legitimate trade and travel. This is essential for communities like El Paso. I've been extremely impressed by Senator Cornyn. I'm confident he is the right Senator for these times, and all Texans should be proud of his leadership."
Senovio Castillo, Mayor, City of Elsa: "Senator Cornyn has proven he can work across party lines for the good of South Texas. I'm proud to support him and proud to call him my Senator."
Siglinde Franz, Councilman, City of Hidalgo: "Senator Cornyn is an impressive leader with integrity and accountability. We are fortunate to have such a strong ally in Washington to push for the priorities and values of all Texans."
Mercurio Martinez, Former Judge, Webb County: "As border security efforts advanced, Senator Cornyn worked closely with public officials and community leaders to ensure that local views and ideas are considered. Senator Cornyn has developed a friendship with Congressman Cuellar, who looks out for the best interests of our community. He is not afraid to tackle tough issues, always sticks to his principles and does what's right."
Ruben Villescas, Police Chief, City of Pharr: "Senator Cornyn works with members of both parties for the good of our region and state. He has pushed hard for reimbursements of local law enforcement officials so we and the Texas taxpayers don't have to foot the bill for unfunded mandates. He also helped pass legislation to improve our safety, which benefits the entire community."
Below is a full list of Senator Cornyn's latest endorsements from Texas border leaders
Donald Reay, Former Customs Investigator, El Paso
Mercurio Martinez, Former Judge, Webb County
Guadalupe "Lupe" Canales, Judge, Jim Hogg County
John Montoya, Former Chief, Border Patrol, Laredo Sector
Jeff Parson, Former Assistant Chief, Border Patrol, Del Rio Sector
Jose Garza, Former Chief, Border Patrol, Rio Grande Valley Sector
Sigifredo "Sigi" Gonzalez, Sheriff, Zapata County
Doug Sample, Sheriff, Dimmitt County
Eusevio Salinas, Sheriff, Zavala County
Ronny Dodson, Sheriff, Brewster County
Oscar Carrillo, Sheriff, Culberson County
Arvin West, Sheriff, Hudspeth County
Leland Burgess, Sheriff, Kinney County
Terry Crawford, Sheriff, Uvalde County
Danny Dominguez, Sheriff, Presidio County
William "Clint" McDonald, Sheriff, Terrell County
D'Wayne Jernigan, Sheriff, Val Verde County
Jim Kaelin, Sheriff, Nueces County
J.D. Martinez, Police Chief, Weslaco
Leo Longoria, Police Chief, City of Mission
Robert Dominguez, Assistant Chief, City of Mission
Michael Phelps, Lieutenant, City of Mission (President of Mission Police Union )
Jesse Lerma, Former Municipal Judge and City Manager, City of Palmview
Robert Barrera, Police Chief, City of Palmview
Valdemar Flores, Police Chief, City of Alton
Ruben Villescas, Police Chief, City of Pharr
Jesse Medina, Former Police Chief, City of Pharr
Senovio Castillo, Mayor, City of Elsa
Cain Cacares, Councilman, City of Elsa
Roberto Escobar, Mayor Pro-Tem, City of Elsa
Martin Venegas, Councilman, City of Elsa
Pedro Fonseca, Councilman, City of Hidalgo
Siglinde Franz, Councilman, City of Hidalgo
Larry Gallardo, Constable Pct. 3, Hidalgo County
Carlos Garza, former Mayor Pro-Tem, City of McAllen
Below are examples of Senator Cornyn's strong record on behalf of border law enforcement
* Senator Cornyn pushed legislation that helped lead to enactment of provisions to double the Border Patrol to 18,000 agents, increased funding for law enforcement, and promoted technology and other security solutions.
* Senator Cornyn co-sponsored the Border Law Enforcement Relief Act of 2008 in July to assist border law enforcement personnel in addressing greater drug trafficking and violence. The legislation would allocate resources to acquire needed law enforcement technology and equipment, and to hire additional personnel.
* Senator Cornyn has backed the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) to reimburse local law officials, Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, the Justice Department's bulletproof vest program, and others.
* Following passage of the Secure Fence Act, Senator Cornyn worked closely with local public officials, law enforcement and other leaders to ensure their views and ideas are considered in the border security process.
* Senator Cornyn worked to enact measures to improve border law enforcement's security, including the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, enacted in 2004, which allows active and retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed weapons.
* Senator Cornyn successfully helped with Senate passage of the Gang Abatement and Prevention Act of 2007 to provide critical reinforcement in keeping dangerous gangs away from border communities, and illicit drugs off the streets.
* Senator Cornyn introduced the Law Enforcement Officers and Judges Protection Act of 2007 to curb frivolous lawsuits against police officers. This bill will also ensure that cop killers who are sentenced to death receive swift justice, not endless appeals.
* Senator Cornyn advocated for the PROTECT Act to create a national AMBER Alert Network, which allows prosecutors to bring indictments for federal sex offenses against an unnamed individual's DNA profile, and prosecution beyond the five-year statute of limitations.
* Senator Cornyn supported the Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, which established a national registration for sex offenders and offenders against children, and boosted penalties for violent crimes against children.* Senator Cornyn co-sponsored the Crime Victims Rights constitutional amendment and other measures to protect crime victims.