You’ve heard of “Brexit” — Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Meet LEXIT USA — Latinos exiting the Democratic Party.
The LEXIT Strike Force, led by Texas businessman Duke Machado, is running a slate of candidates taking on the Democrats who dominate San Antonio’s city council. The LEXIT Strike Force held a press conference in San Antonio Tuesday to highlight the candidates it is supporting in the Alamo City’s upcoming elections.
Mr. Machado, the strike force’s national director, led off the press conference articulating the group’s core values.
“LEXIT USA completely opposes Joe Biden’s policy on catch and release,” Machado said. “Illegal immigrants coming across our border are just flooding into the state of Texas. These people are being released into our state and they’re hitting our neighborhoods. We don’t know who they are. We don’t know their backgrounds. We don’t know what kind of situation they have medically. They’re just being released. We oppose catch and release.” He called for Biden’s policy to “stop immediately.”
Machado was referring to numerous reports that the Biden administration is relying on local jurisdictions along the border to conduct COVID testing, without providing them any means to quarantine those who test positive. Many such illegal migrants are being released and allowed to travel away from the border.
Machado went on to list the LEXIT Strike Force’s values: a strong border with a completed wall, strong support for the Second Amendment, strong support for police, and opposition to defunding police, which Machado says puts the public in danger. LEXIT also supports pro-life and family values, Machado said.
Activist Weston Martinez noted the importance of conservative Tejanos getting involved in local, non-partisan elections both to win and to oust Democrats who may hold local seats before seeking higher office. “I promise you, the next AOC, or Julian Castro, or Bernie Sanders, is probably sitting on a school board somewhere in your hometown,” he said.
Machado then introduced each candidate the LEXIT Strike Force is supporting, beginning with David Tristan, candidate in city council District 4. That district includes the home of U.S. Air Force recruiting, and Tristan says the city has neglected his district for years. He promises to change that.
“The city has done nothing but neglect that whole area,” he said. “I am running to make sure that changes, as a veteran myself of the United States Marine Corps.” He called the blighted appearance of the area “heartbreaking.” He blasted the city council for its homeless policy and called for “backing the blue” — supporting police officers. He noted that his district has one of the city’s highest crime rates, but no police substation.
Next up was Cesario Garcia, candidate for city council District 8. Garcia highlighted public safety, noting that Bexar County (in which San Antonio resides) is defunding constables by 25%. Garcia, owner of a video production company, also noted the condition of the city’s roads and called for more local companies to be hired to repair them, keeping the jobs in the community rather than outsourcing them. He called for more transparency and accountability, for reducing the tax burden on residents, and supporting police to keep the community safe.
Andrew Fernandez Vicencio spoke next. He is running for city council in District 2. Vicencio is a retired lieutenant colonel from the United States Army. “If you do not have strong public safety, businesses will not come to San Antonio and will not come to the district,” he said. The consequences of this, he said, would be an eventual erosion of the tax base and less funding for education and other priorities. He also noted that the border does affect San Antonio and its community. “Bringing folks up here illegally, and not even checking them for their health status, is creating more of a problem. We are now improving on our virus status, and all of a sudden we’re gonna bring people here who are possibly sick? We’re going to create, again, more strain on our health services and increasing of our COVID cases and so forth? That is the wrong answer,” he said. Like all of the candidates on the LEXIT slate, Vicencio called on San Antonio to vote no on Proposition B, a Democratic measure that would defund the police.
City council District 9 candidate Patrick Von Dohlen spoke next. “We have to get back to basics, back to business,” Von Dohlen said. “For far too long, San Antonio has been led by people who were more interested in following pet project than following the law.” Von Dohlen offered himself as the true conservative in the district. He noted that the city has spent funds on illegal immigrants and unreliable energy projects, the latter of which hurt residents during the February freeze. He called for greater supervision of the city’s energy producer by its elected city council. He also called for the city to step back from following the Paris Climate Accord, which the city council voted for in 2017. Von Dohlen also noted he is fighting for religious liberty in the city as lead plaintiff in the Chick-fil-A lawsuit after the city council voted unanimously to ban the restaurant from the airport over its then-owner’s religious beliefs.
The final candidate to speak was Denise Gutierrez-Homer, candidate for mayor. “San Antonio was born because of faith and family,” she noted, citing the city’s origins as a Spanish Catholic mission. “I never thought I would be (running for mayor), but after what we’ve been dealing with for the past two years, we know it’s time for a change,” she said. “We are dealing with an issue regarding immigration,” she said. “As a woman, as a grandmother, I cannot understand how anyone could just put a tag on a child and say ‘I’m gonna leave them at the border and just let them defend themselves and we’ll see what’s gonna happen on the other side.'”
“Our government should not be putting these children at risk,” she said. Gutierrez-Homer also blasted Mayor Ron Nirenberg and County Judge Nelson Wolff, both Democrats, for their handling of the COVID pandemic. She called on both the city and the county to abide by the state mandates rather than impose their own. “A lot of our family-owned businesses have closed” due to the city and county restrictions, she said. She also called for the mayor to debate her, and called for voters to research the candidates and ballot measures. Gutierrez-Homer also noted that along with defunding police, Prop B would increase insurance rates by increasing risk to property and cars throughout the city.
Patricia Varela is also running with the LEXIT slate, for District 7.
San Antonio, like most large cities, is heavily Democratic. But this impressive slate of candidates will challenge the status quo and they have an experienced ally uniting them.
The LEXIT Strike Force was heavily involved in the Austin city council elections in 2020. The LSF phone banked and block walked for candidate Mackenzie Kelly in her underdog campaign to unseat leftist Jimmy Flannigan, making contact with thousands of voters fed up with Austin’s homeless policy and its defunding of the Austin Police Department.
Thanks in part to LSF’s work, she defeated Flannigan in the runoff and is Councilmember Mackenzie Kelly now.
San Antonio’s elections are set for May 1.