Security officer Raul Roy Barrera leads District 27 Democratic race …
Security guard and political novice Raul Roy Barrera appeared to be on his way to the Democratic nomination in the District 27 Congressional race on Tuesday.
With 248 of the district s 293 precincts reporting, Barrera had 50.3 percent of the vote and was defeating Reynaldo Ray Madrigal, a retired photographer from Corpus Christi. Madrigal received 36.3 percent.
Barrera, if he avoids a runoff, will face three-term incumbent Blake Farenthold in the general election on Nov.
People who came out to voice their opinion they wanted a change, and they got the change, Barrera said.
Wayne Raasch, a computer science teacher from Wharton County, finished third in the Democratic race, garnering 13.4 percent of the vote.
At 65, Barrera, is a year from retiring from his job working security at the federal courthouse in Corpus Christi. He spent much of the day Tuesday driving around the city to various polling stations before heading to a family gathering, then to the Nueces County Courthouse to watch the returns.
Family members swarmed him with hugs as the Nueces County results were flashed on a screen after 9:30 p.m.
We re going to continue to look forward for the betterment of the community, said the candidate, dressed in a dark blazer covering a tomato-red T-shirt with Raul Roy Barrera for Congress on the front.
Barrera never served in the military, but ran a platform that pushed heavily for opening a full-service Veterans Affairs hospital in the Coastal Bend.
The Robstown native also was a proponent of raising the minimum wage and safeguarding Social Security, and said his campaign intended to speak for the poor and working class.
Before becoming a police officer, Barrera and his nine siblings supported their family picking cotton.
Madrigal, who also was at the courthouse, held out hope voters in other communities in the 13-county district would support him and force a runoff.
He has run in several races in the last decade, unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for governor in 2014.
He ran on a campaign that focused largely on directing more resources to secure the American border with Mexico. Part of his plan involved moving military troops to communities along the border.
Veterans, the working class.
Those are the people I m fighting for, and for everyone else, Barrera said. This is about representing everybody and doing more to make this district flourish.
Madrigal, 73, traveled throughout Corpus Christi and surrounding communities in the hours before the polls closed at 7 p.m., planting political signs in an effort to make a first impression on voters.
He was at Nueces County Courthouse watching the vote count in his latest bid to win an elected position.
I have nothing to complain about, Madrigal said.
The fact I ve been in this a long time, I know a lot of people.
But the financial part of politics is what makes it tough.
The 27th District takes in the Coastal Bend including Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales, Lavaca, Wharton, Matagorda, Jackson, Victoria, Calhoun, Refugio, Aransas, San Patricio and Nueces counties.
Members of Congress earn a salary of $174,000 annually.
About Chris Ramirez
Chris Ramirez is the Business reporter for the Caller-Times and is the team leader for our Energy Effects coverage.