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Does the McAllen mayor really want to run for a third term?

If this was December 2020, a year from now, talk of McAllen’s next mayoral race (May 2021) would already be a coffee-shop discussion; but 16 months before early voting even begins, what’s up with that? In other words, why is McAllen Mayor Jim Darling already discussing the 2021 election? It’s mainly to let the public know that he intends to run for a third term. According to Darling, he has been contacted by some of his past supporters who have told him that other people are already calling them, seeking their support because the mayor’s seat will be open come 2021. After serving as the city’s longtime attorney, then city commissioner, then mayor (first elected to that seat in 2013), Darling said during a recent interview that there is already a legitimate candidate out in the community asking people for their support in the 2021 mayoral election, as if he’s not going to be a contender, and he can’t watch that pass by without entering the discussion. “If people are asking for support this early on, people don’t really know who’s going to run. So how can people say, ‘Okay, I’ll support you,’ you know? I know people want to get out there early, but I meet people who say, ‘Can I support you?’ If somebody goes out (in the community) 18 months before the next election (May 2021) and starts trying to recruit people who supported me before, I have to make some announcement that I’m not quite ready to retire from public office. Apparently, I already have to be a little bit in campaign mode; but the other thing is, I don’t want to be doing things that look like I’m trying to (win) a re-election versus just doing what I think is right for the city.” According to Darling, “I’m also right in the middle of reorganizing economic development in our city. I have a new majority on my sales tax board. I put new people on the bridge board. I’m trying to provide some leadership because we have new commissioners.... that’s a brand new thing. We haven’t had this many people on the city commission before (at the same time) who have not had experience (as city commissioners). I think they’re all bright; I think they all do a great job. But by the same token, I have got to provide some leadership as mayor. Looking at his demeanor, still reminded of ...

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