David E. Saucedo II, who found himself in the spotlight last week when Lou Holtz was removed as the keynote speaker for a Cathedral High School gala, is likely to stay in the spotlight for a while.
He’s 31, and wants to be El Paso’s next mayor.
“I believe it’s time,” he told El Paso Inc. “I’ve been working on a really cool platform. I believe these next four years are going to set the mark for the next 25 years.”
It won’t be long, he said, before he formally announces his candidacy.
Saucedo, a Cathedral grad, earned a degree in accounting from Notre Dame in 2007. Then he made the decision to come back to the El Paso to work on his future – and the city’s.
He is vice president of the family business, Saucedo Lock Co.
“El Paso is in its golden age right now,” he said. “The next four years are going to be critical to El Paso’s future.
“The right leader with the right passion and enthusiasm will set the tone for the next 25 years.”
Saucedo’s party affiliation is Republican, but he’s not a Dallas Republican.
He wants to talk about the border, social justice, how immigration works and how El Paso and Juárez work together.
“I’m running on the El Paso ticket and a populist platform of bringing prosperity to El Paso.”
The term “populist” is getting a lot of play these days and means different things to different people.
So when asked to explain himself, Saucedo said, “Trump is a populist Republican and Bernie is a populist independent, and I am a populist El Pasoan.”
Last year, Gov. Greg Abbott appointed him to a six-year term on the Texas Board of Nursing. Saucedo is also president of El Paso Boys and Girls Club board.
As president of Cathedral High’s Council of Presidents, Saucedo was at the forefront of the controversy over picking and then dropping Notre Dame’s legendary former football coach to address Cathedral’s Oct. 20 gala celebration of its 90th anniversary.
Cathedral is a private school for boys who come from both sides of the border. The gala’s purpose is to raise money for scholarships for students whose parents can’t afford tuition.
The Council of Presidents canceled Holtz’s invitation because of comments he made referring to immigration as an “invasion” at the Republican National Convention in July – after he endorsed Donald Trump for president.
Addressing the Republican’s Right to Life Coalition, Holtz was talking about the need for immigrants to assimilate and made a crack that Saucedo thinks may have been in jest.
“I don’t want to speak your language. I don’t want to celebrate your holidays. I sure as hell don’t want to cheer for your soccer team,” Holtz is quoted as saying.
Asked for his take on the controversy, Saucedo said, “It’s pathetic. It’s political correctness run amuck.
“I don’t know if you heard the whole speech, but it’s awesome. It’s awesome, and we lost the point.”
Asked if canceling Holtz’s appearance was the right thing to do, Saucedo said, “It was the right decision because it became a distraction.
“It’s not about Lou, it’s about Cathedral and the boys and the scholarships.”
As it is, he said, some people may be so offended that Holtz was invited “that they’ll never give to Cathedral.”
Although the formal invitation to speak at the gala was extended to Holtz on Aug. 18, Saucedo noted that the Council of Presidents had originally voted on it before the Republican Convention.
“We worked too hard to be dealing with this BS, but it is what it is,” he said.
Today, Saucedo thinks El Paso has a lot to teach the country about immigration.
“In El Paso and Juárez, we get it, we definitely get it,” he said.
“We’re sister cities. To a certain extent, we have figured out how immigration works because we need each other for the vitality of both our communities.
“And yet, no one wants to have that conversation in El Paso. Think about it. We don’t have racism; everyone gets along. How can we bottle that up?”
Saucedo says he wants to take El Paso’s message on the road.
“I want us to take our place in the rest of the country – to reintroduce ourselves. This is a national campaign, and we’re working for national recognition.
“I think Oscar (Leeser) is doing a great job, and I’d like to pick up the rest of the story.”
As it happens, the only other person who has said he will run for mayor is also a Republican, Dee Margo.
“We’ve been there, done that. We need some new blood,” Saucedo said.
Email El Paso Inc. reporter David Crowder at email@example.com or call (915) 534-4422, ext. 122 and (915) 630-6622.