Bexar County Sheriff Republican Primary 2020
We have to admit that we were completely shocked at what happened in the Republican primary for Bexar County Sheriff. The Democratic side went as expected. Javier Salazar never had any viable competition. We think Jose Trevino was a strong candidate but he didn’t run a campaign that brought that out. He didn’t do anywhere near enough to introduce himself to the voters.
On the Republican side there was Willie Ng. He was an extremely strong candidate. Strong enough to beat an incumbent Democrat in a major presidential election year? Probably not, but he was Republicans’ best opportunity if it was going to happen and he was a darn good option. Mr. Ng has a resume that can only be described as excellent. See our post here on the candidates for sheriff and our observations about them.
Willie Ng did not win the primary. Neither did Gary Garcia, another Republican with law enforcement experience though he doesn’t have anywhere near the qualifications that Mr. Ng has.
So who won? Gerald “Gerry” Rickhoff won in the Republican primary. Mr. Rickhoff has absolutely no law enforcement experience. He has never been a peace officer. He was Bexar County’s County Clerk for something like the last 20 years. One of the things he said at a forum was that his family has been in public service (understand that to mean politics) for a long time. Mr. Rickhoff was defeated in his last election.
Rickhoff entered the sheriff’s race on the last day of filing. He went to one forum and put up some signs but we didn’t hear anything more from him. So why would Republicans pick a man with absolutely no experience over two men who had decades of experience? Why would Republicans pick a man that seemed to approach the whole sheriff’s election with a shrug and ‘why not’ attitude?
My opinion is it’s all about the last names. We all know that only a very few people do any research about who is running for office. There is no way Republicans decided on Rickhoff based off of research. But what was apparent to them were the names Ng, Garcia, and Rickhoff. An Asian name, an Hispanic name and a white name. Republicans being way less diverse than Democrats, went with the white name. In other words, white Republicans, who are the vast majority of the party, preferred to give power to a white person rather than a minority person. Yes, that’s racist.
Who Says What, Matters
We don’t pretend to be people of influence. It’s not what we are trying to achieve with this website. We are average Bexar County residents who want to help other people in regards to understanding and dealing with the Bexar County Jail. We give our opinions on things but what we say doesn’t matter. We’re nobodies.
However, when someone like the Sheriff’s Community Liaison says something, it does matter. While we understand and agree with his sentiments, we feel what Robert Varrgas did was highly inappropriate. Mr. Vargas, made the following comment on social media,
“It’s important to note how racist Republicans are in Bexar County. A white man who didn’t have a headshot, didn’t put out a yard sign, & didn’t even run an actual campaign garnered 52% of the vote. KSAT had to knock on his door to wake his ** up to give him the election results.”
DSABC Slaps Back at Vargas
The Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Bexar County (DSABC) took exception to Mr. Vargas’s statement, as they should. The Sheriff’s Office is supposed to represent everyone who works there. There are probably way more Republican than Democrat employees. As Salazar’s Community Liaison, Mr. Vargas’s comments have official weight behind them. He just told every Republican who works at the Sheriff’s Office that he considers them to be racists. With missteps like this, it’s no wonder why this administration can’t improve morale. DSABC responded with the following comment,
“Regardless of how one feels about the candidates for Sheriff and their supporters, it is completely unacceptable for Sheriff Salazar’s Community Liaison, a county employee whose salary is paid by taxpayers, to post racist, divisive comments like those below. The DSABC call on Sheriff Salazar to remove Mr. Vargas from his post. There is no room for racism within our ranks.”
While they are completely correct in their stance, people have faced harsh discipline for much less, don’t hold your breath waiting for Salazar to do anything to Mr. Vargas. Remember, that’s Salazar’s campaign manager, the man he gave a county job to but that we are supposed to believe is not doing any campaigning while on duty. Nothing significant ever seems to happen to Salazar’s allies no matter what they do.