By Marc Campos

New Leadership

Good morning James Rodriguez. How does it feel to be arguably the most admired Latino on the Houston area political scene? Your overwhelming victory yesterday was pretty impressive.

You ran a clean campaign that focused on your experience, qualifications and knowledge of City Hall. You, your lovely wife Wendy Montoya Rodriguez, your families, friends and supporters worked hard, stayed focus, and kept it positive. Your parents and Wendy’s parents did a real good job of raising you guys.

Your mentor and former boss, City Council Member Carol Alvarado provided guidance and leadership during this campaign that was extremely beneficial.

Your team of Nef Partida, Nick Hellyar, Jerry Greenspan, Gracie Garces, Jose Soto, Nikki Cooper, Jose Medrano, Giovanni Garibay, Johnny and Lillian Villarreal, Roland Chavez, Beth Arnold, Albert Alonzo, Marisol Valero, Veronica Juarez, Al Luna, Mike Campos, Judy Wallace, Yolanda Alvarado, Chris Bell, Roman Martinez, Robert Miller, your brother Andy Rodriguez and a ton of others did great work throughout this campaign on your behalf.

The voters responded to your candidacy and campaign because quite simply they think you will make an outstanding member of the Houston City Council. Prepare to govern.

The local Latino community is looking for leadership. Prepare to lead.

Now for the fun part! We have to wonder about the local political influence of Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia and Congressman Gene Green. They pulled out all the stops for their candidate John Marron and got stomped pretty bad yesterday. They threatened, intimidated, raised money, blocked money, put out mailers, hosted events, made robo calls, went door to door and their candidate still got whupped. The community didn’t buy their act. The commissioner and congressman ought to rethink their attitude of telling the community how to conduct their political affairs. James Rodriguez and his team are the real deal – a fact they better accept.

The commissioner is now actively recruiting an opponent to run against Carol Alvarado for state representative. After yesterday’s results, the commissioner needs to keep in check her rabid dislike of Carl Alvarado and this writer. The Chron and others said this was Sylvia versus Carol. If so, then scoreborad goes to Carol. The commissioner suffered a humiliating defeat yesterday. She’s not as strong as she thinks she is.

The commissioner should be shown respect, but she can’t be allowed to control our politics. So I’ll take your calls now.

The only four individuals (Ben Reyes, John Castillo, Carol Alvarado, and now James Rodriguez) that have won the Houston City Council, District I position, have won without a run-off. This writer ran all of their winning campaigns. So I guess you could say I’m four for four. Hold the applause while I take a bow.

Yesterday’s victory for James Rodriguez and his team is one for the history books and one that will help shape the future of politics in Houston – not lust local Latino politics.

Personally, this has been one of the most exciting campaigns I’ve been around in a long time. I want to thank my friend James Rodriguez for letting me ride with him on this remarkable and historical journey. It was one heck of a ride.

Finally, let me thank my dear friend Pam Gardner for being there and offering encouragement. She, Drayton McLane, Jr., Eileen Colgin and the Astros – James’ former employer – really came through.

Hey James! Let’s play ball!

November 7, 2007 9:00AM

Daily Commentary