Flores and Murguia surprised by their lost in bid for UG commissioner



Latinos need to have a voice in KCK City Hall





This past summer, residents and the Latino community in greater KC were outraged with the way ICE and the Kansas City police department handled the arrest of a man that ICE was wanting to deport back to Mexico (right pictures). “As CEO, I have the responsibility of holding myself and our staff accountable for fulfilling our mission and vision for Mattie Rhodes Center. Our Board of Directors is charged with ensuring I am doing my job and fulfilling our mission,” John Fierro (left) said.



BY DEBRA DeCOSTER


Jorge Flores ran for Commissioner, District 4 against incumbent Harold Johnson in the General election last week. Although he lost in his election bid, he will continue to work in the district helping people with their needs and holding Commissioner Johnson accountable to the needs of the people.


One topic that Flores was upset about was the negative flyer that went out days before the election on Tuesday Nov. 5, 2019.


“There was negative information that was sent out right before the election by my opponent. There was negativity on social media, there were postcards sent out, the negative information that went out by my opponent… that is horrible. My actions speak louder than words, and people that know me will say that the information that went out is lies. Someone has to stand up and say I am not afraid to put my face out there and my name and run. Honestly, most people won’t run because they are afraid of what may be put out against them or their family. None of us get into this to become rich, but I know that the negativity and the ugliness behind the comments would deter other people from entering the political race. It is unacceptable to allow our politicians to do this,” he stated.


He added, “I am happy that we ran a positive race and our campaign focused on the positive. I have my actions and my campaign that proved I was ready for this position and I was ready to take this on,” he said.


Flores lost the election by about 470 votes to his opponent. Although it was disheartening for him to hear that he lost, he will not stop working with the community and will consider running again.


“Latinos need to have a voice in office. Even though I didn’t win, I will continue to work in the community,” he said.


“I have been involved in the community prior to my campaign and I really did nothing different that I wasn’t already doing. When I was on the police department, I was out there and involved with different organizations. My work continues and I would like to create a united community. I am willing to work with our current representative and the other representatives. I will continue to work within the community and have an influence on our community and their lives. We still have a lot of work to do out there,” he said.


Having a Latino in office on the Board of Commissioners would help the Latino community have a voice.


“Being able to educate the Hispanic community about the local government, help them get to the resources they need would help them have a better quality of life. We need to continue to diversify the commission so that the people’s voices should be heard. We need to do more civic engagement to help the Latino population feel comfortable and we need a Latino on the board to help guide our population. Hispanic representation is needed and why we don’t have it is because the Hispanic population does not get out there and vote,” he said.


Although this is his first time running for public office, Flores has been involved in the Wyandotte County community as a former police officer. “As a former police officer, I was able to work with diverse communities here in Wyandotte County. I wanted to do more in the community with civic engagement and really be a role model. I wanted to give back and give opportunities to other people as well. I wanted to be in a position so that I could be a resource to help others in the community with their needs,” he said.


According to Flores, there is a lot of work that needs to be done. After talking to members in his district, he realized that people ask for resources for speed bumps on their streets, resources to help them be safer in their community, resources for housing and help with smaller issues within their neighborhoods.


“You need someone to pay attention to the small details and go back to the basics. We need to fix what we have. I feel that people wanted someone to listen to them. My campaign was focused on action, we shut down a problematic house that was involved with drugs and prostitution that neighbors called me about. So, we involved the community policing officer and we got the house shut down. It had been running for over 2 years,” he said.


During his campaign he focused on action. He listened to neighbors and what was being said, and ran his campaign on action, different he said than what other politicians were doing.


“We were out in the community showing the people that we would work along side them. I was out there working, and I feel it brought a different sense of community and partnership. The people were not used to seeing a candidate out working in the neighborhoods,” he stated.


He added, “our campaign was very unique, and we received feedback from other candidates and representatives, who told us they hadn’t seen anything like our campaign.”


Flores told Hispanic News if he didn’t win the election that evening, he would be out working the next day in the community ‘just as he always has been.’


“I will continue my civic engagement and continue working with the people in the community. I think when people come across you in their difficult times, I feel they really realize who is there for them. To me that is when I felt I had already won. No matter what the numbers show, I had won. This is all a win to me, there is no loss here,” said Flores.


A surprise loss in the race for Unified Government Commissioner, District 3 for many came at the end of the evening when all the ballots were counted, and Christian Ramirez claimed 717 votes over incumbent Ann Brandau Murguia who captured only 605 votes.


Brandau Murguia, who has served as commissioner for the past 13 years, offered her congratulations to Ramirez. She said she would be available to answer any of Ramirez questions and assist him in the transition.


“I hope District 3 continues to move forward. We’ve made a lot of progress in the community, Argentine and Rosedale, substantial improvements, and I want to see that all continue.”


After the election results were revealed, former commissioner Ann Murguia wrote on her Facebook page, “I just want to thank all of you that supported me in my election. It was a good run and I trust the wish of the voters and look forward to continuing the progress we have made in District 3 with our new Commissioner. Thank you for allowing me to serve all of you for over a decade!”