Forum to host candidates for Districts 36, 41

McALLEN — Candidates for state representative Districts 36 and 41 are expected to debate each other during a forum here Thursday.

The McAllen Citizens League is hosting a political forum that is open to the public and free of charge. The event will be held at noon Thursday at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and attendees will have the option to purchase lunch. Members of the League will be charged $18 for their meals, while non-members will pay $20.

The League invited state Rep. Sergio Muñoz Jr., D-36, and his challenger Abraham Padron to the stage. Muñoz, an attorney, is vying for a sixth term in office, while Padron, an insurance agent, is looking for a rematch.

This isn’t the first time the pair has run against each other. Padron challenged Muñoz during the 2016 Democratic Primary, but fell short by about 22 percentage points.

The winner of the March Primary will essentially coast into the November General Election, as there is no Republican challenger on the ballot.

The nonprofit also invited state Rep. Bobby Guerra, D-41, and two other hopefuls: a Democratic candidate whom Guerra will face in March and a Republican candidate who will compete against the winner in the November General Election.

Richard Gonzales is hoping to win the Democratic nomination against Guerra in March. The attorney and former Edcouch municipal judge ran an unsuccessful campaign in 2017 for a seat on the Edinburg Council. Gonzales lost to Edinburg Councilman Jorge Salinas by about 10 percentage points.

Meanwhile, Guerra, a senior member of the Public Health Committee, is vying to keep a seat he’s held since a special election in 2012.

The winner of the Democratic Primary, Guerra or Gonzales, will face Republican challenger John Guerra, a McAllen OB-GYN, in November. The physician said in a forum last week he believes the state legislature needs a wider variety of professionals at the helm.

Primary Election Day is March 3.