The Bill White campaign fired back this afternoon after Gov. Rick Perry's announcement that he had won the endorsements of thirty current and former elected officials, including many Democrats, from the Rio Grande Valley.
White campaign's said it could count “more than 90 South Texas leaders” who are endorsing White over Perry, including three U.S. Representatives, two state senators, six Texas House members, two incoming House members and more than three dozen municipal officials.
One of them, McAllen Mayor Richard Cortez said: "I know Bill White as a consensus builder, who will work with people from all backgrounds to do what's right for our state."
City of La Joya Mayor Billy Leo said that while some Valley mayors had crossed party lines to endorse Perry, that wouldn't add up to more votes for the governor in Hidalgo County: “We vote between 60 and 70 percent Democrat, and we have about half a million voters and the list keeps getting higher. The mayors can make any endorsements they want, but the people will not follow." The key to electing White, said Leo, was increasing the voter turnout of Mexican Americans in the area. For example, he said, President Obama had the support of 89 percent of the registered voters in Starr County, but it could only muster less than a 20 percent turnout during the election.