State Rep. Tara Rios Ybarra (D-South Padre Island), who defeated then-incumbent Democrat Juan Escobar in 2008, will be challenged by Kingsville restaurant owner and businessman J.M. Lozano in next year's Democratic primary.
Escobar, who according to the Rio Grande Guardian is expected to endorse Lozano, was heavily outspent by Ybarra after she received $100,000 from Texans for Lawsuit Reform. Like Lozano, Escobar lives in Kingsville.
From the Rio Grande Guardian:
In his interview with the Guardian, Lozano said he is a “moderate” and “fiscally conservative” Democrat. However, he said that as someone who was born and raised in rural South Texas, he knows the region needs investment because it can no longer rely just on oil and gas. “You need to know your community and its needs, whether it has a population of 5,000 or 500 and I do,” Lozano said.
Asked if he was concerned that the Austin lobby money would likely flow to the incumbent, Lozano said, no. “Her money is largely from Republicans and she is beholden to Republicans. For her to hijack a party label and to tell people she is a Democrat, that is misleading,” Lozano said.
Lozano announced his campaign on YouTube and Facebook. The YouTube video can be seen below.