Out-of-state candidate says he’s eager to get to know, serve District 27

Out-of-state candidate says he's eager to get to know, serve District 27

VICTORIA, Texas – Ricardo “Ricky” De La Fuente, a California native and resident, says he is eager to serve the people of South Texas – even though he’s not a current resident of the state.

De La Fuente won 64 percent of the vote in his race for the spot on the Democratic ballot for the state congressional seat in District 27. De La Fuente also ran for a congressional seat in California at the same time as his race in Texas. He did not win his race the California primary. His father, Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente II, ran for the Republican ballot for President in the primary election. The De La Fuente family is known for running for office in several states across the country. De La Fuente said he became interested in running after he saw no Latinos were on the ballot for the congressional seat.

“So I’m to going to be building my campaign and moving full-time into the district, you know, getting around, attending events, knocking on doors, getting all the Democrats excited about my candidacy,” De La Fuente said.

Charlie Jackson, his opponent in the primary election, says he’s pursuing legal action, calling it an illegitimate win, and will continue to campaign as if he is still on the ticket. Jackson, a Texas native, says he entered the race in January and spent about $37,000 in campaigning but that it wasn’t enough to reach voters who may have questioned De La Fuente’s California residency.

“Still in the race to win it, still going to be active all throughout from Victoria, Corpus to Jackson County and Wharton and every place in the District,” Jackson said.

Jackson isn’t the only skeptic. Pat Tally, chair of the Victoria County Democratic Party, said De La Fuente did not make himself available to local Democratic leadership during his race for primary.

“He did list an address here in Victoria, which was a shock to all of us, we’re like, ‘huh?’ we don’t know anything about this guy, and so we thought, ‘Oh, there is someone here that wants to run,'” Tally said. “In the last cycle we had Eric Holguin who ran for the US House of Representatives, he ran hard and was here all the time.”

De La Fuente says he will be moving to Victoria soon and will be going door-to-door to get to know residents of District 27. His family owns and operates Mockingbird Lane Plaza Apartments in Victoria.

Tune in Friday to hear from Republican Congressman Michael Cloud, who De La Fuente will face in the fall election.