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Bronze Star recipient Ruben Ramirez to make congressional bid

Six Bronze Star for Valor at Gabreski Air National Guard Base. (Senior Airman Christopher Muncy/U.S. Air Force)

An Edinburg native and veteran of the Afghanistan war has announced he is joining the congressional race to represent District 15, which covers much of the Upper Valley.

Democrat Ruben Ramirez announced his candidacy on Sunday evening.

The trial attorney, former educator and Army veteran says in a campaign announcement that he is eager to bring a strong voice to highlight the challenges facing the congressional district that covers much of Hidalgo County, the largest of the Rio Grande Valley’s four counties.

“I come from very financially humble beginnings but a beginning that is rich with a loving grandmother and father who instilled integrity, love, education, a hard work ethic, and patriotism to my core,” he said in the announcement. “Surrounded by my family who encouraged and supported my dreams and passion for learning, I understood early on that education would be the key to (break) my bonds of poverty; a key I continuously pass along to others.”

Ramirez says he holds a bachelor’s in Business Administration in International Business and a minor in Biology, which he earned from the then-University of Texas-Pan American.

“While there, I ran for student office to serve my fellow classmates and was President of the International Business Association,” he said in the announcement. “It was my early attempt to bring to the forefront issues that affected us in that sphere.”

He says he went on to become an educator and taught high school physics and chemistry for five years in Edinburg, which he described as one of the most rewarding and eye-opening experiences of his life.

“While teaching, I was blessed to be able to positively and directly impact the lives of nearly a thousand high school students. I understood that if I could just motivate one student to choose a better path in life, I will have affected that student’s life and his future children for generations,” Ramirez said.

As an educator, he said he has insight on the concerns of parents, teachers and students.

“I understand the effects underfunding has on learning, as well as the effects of bureaucracy on teachers and administrators,” he said.

Ramirez also said he volunteered to fight in Afghanistan.

“My love for country has not been proven with just words, but rather with actions. I was awarded one of the most prestigious medals, the Bronze Star, as a symbol of my dedication, skilled work, leadership and meritorious service to my country and fellow soldiers,” he said. “I consider this to be one of my greatest accomplishments.”

He also says he is passionate about the safety and security of the country and its citizens.

“I have firsthand knowledge of how the decisions in Washington D.C. affect our soldiers and their families,” Ramirez said. “It is crucial we have a strong national defense that is both feared and respected as to prevent war. We must have a robustly trained, well-equipped, and ready for to win any war asymmetrically.”

The Bronze Star recipient says that through hard work, grit and determination he attended the University of Houston Law Center where he graduated with a Juris Doctor degree before passing the Texas Bar exam on his first try.

Ramirez says he is a civil trial lawyer who has represented clients in numerous trials, taken thousands of depositions and has hundreds of successful negotiations under his belt.

“As a member of Congress, I will continue to fight for my fellow veterans and district. Like all challenges I have faced, I will not back down and I promise to uphold our values and our Constitution,” he said. “I have continuously set goals to help better my community and I’ve achieved them.”

Ramirez will face off against Democrats Eliza Alvarado, a director with the Region One Education Service Center, and incumbent Vicente Gonzalez in the primary.

Gonzalez, however, has indicated he may run in the neighboring District 34 race after Texas Republicans removed his residence from District 15 in proposed redistricting maps, which haven’t yet been signed off by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Gonzalez previously said he would hold off on making a decision until the proposed maps are official.

The winner of the Democrat primary will face Republican Monica De La Cruz, who nearly unseated Gonzalez in the last election.


(c) 2021 The Monitor

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