Calexico keeping eye on election in Mexicali with a vested interest

July 07, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — After Baja Californians vote today, Calexicans will be watching the returns with vested interest.

Calexico Mayor Victor Carrillo said, "Mexicali and Calexico are jointly connected; interwoven in familial, societal, cultural and political ways."

Regarding the Mexicali mayoral race, he said this year's election is particularly fortuitous for Calexico because both candidates are "well-rounded."

Carrillo has met National Action Party candidate Jaime Diaz Ochoa and Institutional Revolutionary Party candidate Aurelio Flores Peña, the frontrunners.

He said whichever party wins will have a tradition of cooperation with Calexico to build upon.

Victor Hermosillo Celada, outgoing Mexicali mayor and a PAN member, had a good relationship with Calexico officials, according to Carrillo but so too did Mayor Milton Castellanos Gout, then a member of PRI, also a candidate for governor with the Citizens Alliance.

That bodes well for Calexico but will make the decision difficult for Mexicali voters, he added.

Mayor Pro Tem John Renison said, "I'll be following that gubernatorial campaign."


Because of PAN gubernatorial candidate Eugenio Elorduy Walther's relationship with Calexico as Mexicali's mayor three years ago, Renison expects a great working relationship if Elorduy is elected.

"I think it would be the first time we had someone in that seat that we know personally," Renison said.

Elorduy actually is a Calexico native.

Renison continued: "He's going to favor an increased relationship with border cities. He's told me that."

That "increased relationship" could mean increased economic development along the border in addition to a strong emphasis in public safety.

One of Elorduy's claims to fame as mayor was raising salaries for Mexicali police, Renison said.

Elorduy has said he would work along those same lines to increase public safety at the state level by creating a secretary of public safety.

A bonus for Elorduy is any programs he endorses would likely be supported by President Vicente Fox because they are both PAN members, Renison said.

"They (Elorduy and Diaz) are of the same party as the president. It's an entrée to get things done quicker," he said.

Renison mentioned another connection that could bode well should Elorduy be elected: he was a classmate of Assemblyman David Kelley at Brown's Military Academy in San Diego.

Calexico Police Cmdr. Mario Sanchez will be watching Elorduy's race against PRI gubernatorial candidate Daniel Quintero Peña but will focus more on the mayoral race.

"When you have a former police chief (Diaz) who has past experience working with our department it could make it that much easier for our departments to work together," Sanchez said.

He added Calexico police know dialogue has been opened so his election could help with the exchange of information.

But, Sanchez said, "(Mayoral candidate) Mr. Peña could be another person that would help us as well."

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419.

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