From left, candidates Dean Martinez, Steve Ortega and Jaime O. Perez at a recent mayoral forum hosted by the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce. (Michelle Blanks/

Eight aspirants vie for one job – Mayor of El Paso

EL PASO – Eight men who aspire to run this city sit, slowly drinking water from Styrofoam cups in front of an audience some 120 persons, in anticipation of the questions they have to answer to prove they are worthy of the title of mayor. The Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce held a mayoral forum recently where the candidates in the May 11 election attempted to prove they each were the best man for the job. Present in the packed hall were: educator Jorge Artalejo, business owner Robert Cormell, mortgage broker Gus Haddad, businessman Oscar Leeser, education management specialist Hector Lopez, U.S. Department of Defense retiree Dean Martinez, city representative Steve Ortega, and educator Jaime Perez. “There is a confidence in the community, optimism about El Paso that I have not seen since living here. If you support my candidacy you support the continued improvement of this community in a positive and ambitious direction,” said Ortega in an opening statement allotted to each candidate in reference to why they would be an ideal mayor for El Paso.