Partner Greg Herrman of Herrman Herrman and Eric Holguin, candidate for Texas' 27th Congressional District in the U.S. House talk about Holguin's background and about his district. If you liked this video, please like and subscribe to our Youtube channel.
Greg Herrman: Hi, well hello everybody. Welcome again to a frequently asked question Friday, today we're going to do something a little bit differently. We have a guest appearance by Eric Holguin, Eric is running for the district 27 House of Representatives. Some of you guys may be familiar that's the district that Blake Farenthold used to represent, I guess HE retired yesterday. Eric is a Democrat and he's running to replace Blake. Eric, dou want to just tell us about yourself?
Eric Holguin: Yeah so I always say I'm from South Texas because we moved around a lot as a kid. I went to elementary school in Odom, middle school in Las something, High School in the valley and I went to college at A&M Corpus Christi. I come from a very middle-class family, my dad's a public school educator, my mom's a nurse and my brothers are veterans, now State Troopers, one's in Dallas and the other's in the valley. I guess I have to start plugging my little sister because she got upset whenever I wouldn't talk about her, she's like 'I'm getting a degree in criminal justice, so why don't you bring that up?' all right so I have a little sister that's gonna be a criminologist.
Greg: Everyone say hi to Eric's little sister, what's her name?
Eric: Elissa, we're all 'E's. Evan Eric and Elissa. My grandfather is a former justice of the peace in Jim Hogg County so I come from a very public service oriented family and most recently I was actually spending time in New York City where I was working for the New York City controller as Community Advisor for him. I worked on a wide range of issues ranging from LGBTQ to seniors to education to transportation, that's where I really learned the nitty-gritty of government. Prior to that I was working for a US Congresswoman there in New York as well so that's sort of where I'm at. I actually ran for City Council here in 2009 when I was a college student at A&M, I didn't win, I didn't raise enough money, people were like who is this 21 year old punk that's trying to run for office you know, but I powered through it and it was a great experience. I wanted to come back down to Texas because I just wanted to get involved especially after last year's election, you know really fired me up to get involved.
Greg: That got lots of people fired up, hopefully. Can you just briefly, I know the district you're running for is extremely gerrymandered, but can you just describe the boundaries of where all it runs to and where your district is.
Eric: Yeah, so the most southern town is Bishop, which is between Corpus Christi and Kingsville and then it goes up north to Matagorda which is right outside Houston. It goes along the coast and then it's almost looks like this Y that goes through Victoria, Gonzales, up to Bastrop. So it's you know it's obviously gerrymander and been ruled gerrymandered, we're waiting to see what's gonna happen, and what this different court has to say.
Greg: Right, yeah this is one of these districts that the courts said this is obviously politically motivated and racially motivated.
Eric: Yeah and if you look at the lines, the district you know has Corpus, Pat Allen, goes all the way down to Odem, but it cuts out Odem. Which is where I come from and it's a discounted community. It goes right back down the highway, cuts around Sinton, which is another hispanic population, but it has Edroy in the district which is funny because Odem and Edroy go together usually. So you know it was very, you know they they got their scalpel and ya know figure out a way to cut out a lot of minorities.
Greg: Don't need any Hispanics in this place, don't need hispanics in this place, we'll cut them out.
Eric: Yeah and even up North they cut out Lockhart which is up near Austin, because since Austin is getting expensive a lot of the Millennials are starting to move into the outer towns which is making it more, you know, Millennials typically vote Democrat, for the most part. So they cut around Lockhart, and yeah it's amazing what they did.
Greg: They're trying to make sure they can preserve their Republican territory there, right? That's kind of a definition gerrymandering. So having grown up in South Texas, what do you feel like you have to offer the constituents of this district?
Eric: Well I think definitely we need someone who has the same South Texas values that people grew up with down here, you know. I was born and raised down here, educated down here, and so I think it's about time that the people that live in South Texas, these working-class communities that they are represented by someone who has the same working-class values that they have. If you look at Baron, though, I know he's not gonna get to race anymore he grew up very wealthy, very privileged and whenever you're not raised in the working class and raised in more of the higher percentage you don't truly understand what people go through. You know, like I remember growing up my family was on WIC, it's SNAP now, but people need to be represented by someone who understands where they come from. Since I grew up in this area I understand a lot of the struggles that familes are facing today because my family faced it. It's unfortunate that people are facing it even worse today than they were back, you know, that my parents were back in the day, so it's that. Truly, like I said, I come from a family of public servants so I really truly care about the people here and really try to push it forward. That's why I've stepped up to to run for this race because I have what it takes, I have the skin for it, I have the experience for it, and you know I just, I care about what's going on and I'm a fighter, and I know I could do this.
Greg: All right, what do you think it's gonna take to to win this seat in this in this gerrymandered district?
Eric: So I guess my whole campaign isn't a Democrat versus Republican campaign and I think that's how this is the way to win and I know it sounds cheesy to say that we need to unify and work together, but we really need to. There's so much polarization on both ends of the spectrum going on right now so for me it's focusing on the issues that affect people's daily lives, everything down from the streets all the way up to healthcare at the federal level. While I don't necessarily have the legal authority, if elected, to dictate what happens to their local streets because that's a city issue, I'm here to be an advocate for them on state issues and city issues and County issues and so for me it's going, it's reaching across the aisle, it's going to people who might not have the same political views that I do and be like 'where can we figure this out?' 'where can we work together?' because all we're doing is just this *pushes fists together to symbolize conflict* and it's getting tiring, and it's not just Democrats that feel this way, I've had a lot of conversations with Republicans and they're just like 'where can we get along now?' because we for the past almost two years we have just spent so much time fighting with each other. Even with, you know, Farenthold being the representative, many Republicans have reached out and they said 'you know, you seem kind of like a normal person' and so people are willing to work together and people also want statesmanship back, we look at the current administration, we look at the guy that almost ran Roy Moore, and it's these sort of people who don't have statesmanship. They make the country look bad, they make their state look bad, they make their district look bad, and it's all for these kind of crazy ideological views. So now we need to sort of go back to working together and figuring out how to address a lot of these issues.
Greg: Make men look bad too. What are the issues that you care about most for this district?
Eric: So for me it's really focusing on sort of rebuilding the community, and I don't mean necessarily just rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey. It's sort of starting with the infrastructure, because if you look at the valley, you look at San Antonio and Austin they have expanded exponentially. Corpus has sort of been stuck since the 90's, it still looks the same since as when I was a kid here. The district isn't set up infrastructure wise to be able to handle new markets and new businesses to come into the area. If you take Amazon for example, a couple months ago they put out an RFP (request for proposal) for cities all over the country for them to basically locate their new headquarters or distribution center and that would've brought in I think they said about 50,000 jobs. It was very meticulous at what they're looking for and the only thing that we had was that they were looking for was A&M Corpus Christi and Del Mar College and I guess Kingsville down the street. Because they wanted to be able to pull talent from local universities to jump right into working for their business. Everything else, they're looking for buildings that were already built but that could be you know, renovated that they could just jump right into. We have none of that, we have a very heavy, aging infrastructure all over the city. I think infrastructure sort of trickles down to jobs, economy, health care, quality of life, because whenever you have a strong infrastructure that's going to bring in more jobs and that's going to bring in a diverse pool of talent. and you're gonna keep people here in Corpus Christi. I'll be very honest, very frank whenever I graduated from A & M Corpus it was very tough for me to find a job here. I remember I was working doing a morning show at channel 3 at 4:00 a.m. every morning and then also working a part-time like graphic design advertising gig and it still wasn't enough. I'm applying left and right and it's like the quintessential postgraduate problem that a lot of people face here and that's why a lot of our talent goes to Austin, they go to New York because a lot of the jobs are out there. And here unless you want to work in oil and gas and there's nothing wrong with working in oil and gas but a lot of people don't go to college to work you in oil and gas unless that's what you know they go to college for. So it's looking at that, at the federal level healthcare you know, for the single-payer systems that way everyone gets health care because I believe healthcare is a right and not a privilege, it's very disheartening to see people feel like people need to fend for themselves whenever a lot of these people that have to fend for themselves came from disadvantaged backgrounds. So you know it's sort of trying to not only be equal but have equity within the community.
Greg: Ok, and what inspired you to run for district 27?
Eric: A lot of things, the main thing that triggered it was after the 2016 elections, I've been looking at ways to get involved back here in Texas and I was just sort of getting so upset with a lot of the state bills that were trying to be passed, like SB 4, which is a show me your papers bill or SB 6 with the transgender bathroom bill and I was sort of just like come on, Texas you're killing me. After the election Obama's out going speech, his final speech as president he basically said we're in treacherous times right now so don't count on anybody to do what you want, so you have to step up do it. And so that's when I started the process of looking over and seeing where I could get involved with the community and Farenthold kept being Farenthold, and I was like I think this is it, I think this is the window to jump into and it's a great.
Greg: And you started running before he announced his retirement?
Eric: Yeah, I kicked off the campaign early October, so for me, for my campaign isn't an anti-Farenthold campaign. I already knew who he was, a lot of people know who he was and I know what I was going up against and I knew that I'm going up against him in a gerrymander district but if you look at what happened in Alabama a couple days ago, you'll see people, you know people still have, you know, they care about the country and I think that's where, that's how we can win the seat. It's an open seat now.
Greg: So people might actually put country over party.
Eric: Yeah and that's important and it's both, it's country over party on the Democrat and Republican side. For me a lot of my issues are on my website I'll get the shameless plug Ericforus.com, on the issues page I give a lot of policy ideas and proposals and ways to address a lot of the issues. Because a lot of people run for office and they give a lot of you know fluffy feel-good statements 'we're gonna do this we're going to work together we're gonna unify we're gonna..' it's like 'okay, but how?' and I think people now are more cynical and politically intune to not only messaging but they're politically in tune to everything. So whenever you say, okay, we're gonna bring back jobs. They think, what are you gonna do? how you gonna do that? and so people are knowing which questions to ask and knowing what to look for. So whenever I started the process of getting this going I did my research, I looked at policy, I looked at legislation, I looked at current programs that are already in place and thought all right how can we better these to make sure that this covers this group of people. You know just various ways to address this and on my website it's broken down by jobs, economy, health care, infrastructure, veterans, education, and Social Security. I've done my work, I've done my research, and I'm still doing my research. A lot of what I've been doing is going out in this community and just listen to people's concerns and you know bring them back in, alright how can this be adjusted?
Greg: Lastly we had a question on net neutrality, the FCC just, I think it was yesterday, rolled back the the Obama rules that basically said we're gonna give you net neutrality, everybody gets the same speed internet, nobody gets charged extra. So I know they rolled that back, it just happened, we don't know all the consequences yet, but do you have an opinion on the net neutrality?
Eric: Yeah I think what Obama did for net neutrality was great and it's a shame that the current administration is trying to roll back those regulations. The current FCC Chairman trying to appease a lot of these corporate engines like AT&T, Comcast, spectrum. What this does is this affects a lot of disenfranchised and minority communities because this will hurt people like the high school kids that are trying to apply for college, this will hurt groups that are trying to politically organize, this really diminishes the way a lot of people are able to use the Internet so when it's a free and open Internet, which is how it should be, people are able to communicate, people are able to do what they're supposed to do. This also hurts small businesses because now they're at the mercy of these corporate businesses to be able to you know do their e-commerce that the way they should do it. This is the way they sell so this really complicates a lot of things and it's all for corporate interests and you know Farenthold, earlier this year he voted to sell our browsing history to Internet service providers which is a shame because, you know they can make money and then yeah we were already bombarded with advertisements left and right. This only just keeps furthering that and so their whole their whole thing is the FCC Chairman and most Republicans whole thing is that they want to refill this because you know less regulation, which is great in certain aspects but with something like the internet when you have less regulation you're gonna have major corporations come in and trying to monopolize and you know, five dollars for Facebook, ten dollars for Internet, and you know it should be the way it was designed originally, which is open and anybody have access to it.
Greg: Okay, well thank you very much for stopping by I know we went a bit longer than we'd planned but I think that was pretty good. Everybody, I think has a pretty good feeling for your opinions and your beliefs and what you stand for and your policies and you want to give me your website again one more time?
Eric: Yeah, Ericforus.com, so and they can see all your positions on there, biography pictures, volunteering, contribute. It's all on there, I'm an open book so if you message me on Facebook I'll be doing to respond I'm very accessible anybody could message me and I can respond to them pretty quickly so well.
Greg: Eric, thanks again and thank you guys for tuning in and thanks for stopping by.
Eric: Yeah, thank you for having me, appreciate it. Thanks.