At an event at the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Houston Democrat won the backing of state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, state Reps. Paul Moreno, Joe Pickett, and Inocente "Chente" Quintanilla, County Commissioners Veronica Escobar, County Attorney Jose Rodriguez, and City Commissioners Steve Ortega, Susie Byrd and Beto O'Rourke.
"I am humbled by the outpouring of support," Noriega said. "The people of El Paso are clearly ready to elect a U.S. senator who cares about having a VA hospital and a children's hospital built, who cares about stopping the border fence, and who cares about the plight of the Tigua Indians. They have not had that."
Shapleigh dubbed the event, "Noriega en El Chuco," or "Rock Solid with Rick." Shapleigh said the people of El Paso will warm to Noriega as they get to know him during the campaign because of his background and achievements.
He predicted Noriega would especially secure deep support among El Paso veterans, health care workers, educators, and students.
"Rick has a great El Paso campaign theme. His own story is the story of so many from El Paso: brave, veteran, achieved the American dream through education, fought for his country in Afghanistan and his people in Austin," Shapleigh said.
Shapleigh said El Paso voters were ready for a change in the U.S. Senate because of Cornyn's record.
"As Texas Attorney General, Cornyn did more than anyone in state government to end Tigua gaming," Shapleigh said. "Then check his votes in the U.S. Senate on veterans' health, on SCHIP, and on the border wall, which he voted for twice."
Shapleigh predicted health care would be a key issue in the presidential campaign and that would help Noriega in El Paso in a general election match-up against Cornyn. "El Paso is ground zero for that debate," Shapleigh said, pointing out that El Paso and Texas are dead last in health care coverage.
Noriega said he looked forward to debating Cornyn on his votes on SCHIP, the border wall, and veterans' health care. He also said he would be returning to El Paso many times during the campaign. "Things are going really well here," Noriega said.
And though I've promised to take a (short) break from the fundraising pitch, I do want to point out that while it was our goal to get 800 donors total to Rick Noriega via ActBlue, in the end our push got him over 800 donors just on the Netroots for Noriega page. Now it doesn't really matter where the donors come from, or more specifically where they go to make their donations. Our point has always been that Rick Noriega has broad grassroots support, so the more ActBlue pages that are out there attracting donations to him, the better. But it's still very nice to have achieved this milestone all on our own. It gives us a little something extra to build on for the new quarter.Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 01, 2007 to Election 2008