With the swearing in of the 113th session of Congress on Thursday, U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas became our newest congressman and the first Latino to hold such a distinction in our district.
It’s been a long time since we’ve had a new face representing us in the House of Representatives. Bob Filner, who resigned from Congress to become San Diego’s mayor, had been our representative for two decades. Before that, Rep. Duncan Hunter Sr. was our man in D.C. for a decade before that.
So Vargas is nothing if not a political animal. It’s his natural habitat; one he has lived in since first being elected to the San Diego City Council in 1993, save for that four-year spell when he was defeated by Filner.
He knows his way around the political system, and that should work in the Valley’s favor, much like it did with Filner, who did much for Imperial County and was a high-profile presence locally until he began his run for mayor.
We’re hopeful that Vargas will be a strong voice and an attentive federal representative for us. While we have been among Vargas’ most vocal detractors, the fact is, Vargas is now our guy. The voters have made it so. We support his efforts and hope he succeeds until we’re shown different.
We realize Vargas does come with baggage. We believe he wasn’t as visible or accessible to the community or this newspaper as he could have been as our state senator, and some of his supporters have not comported themselves as professionally as they could have in campaigns of the past.
This is today, however. Imperial County needs Vargas and what he can bring to our district from Washington. The Valley is far from doing well economically, and anything he can do to assist to that end would be vital to our prosperity.
We wish him well. And he seems to be hitting the right notes already. We hear he has provided a group of high school students from Imperial County tickets to the presidential inauguration Jan. 21. That’s a great start, and we expect much more.
Vargas sworn in Thursday.
The Valley needs Vargas and his experience.
WHAT DO YOU SAY?
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