Mari Aguirre-Rodriguez (right) sits down for an interview with District 19 Democratic candidate Helen Madla. Photo by Paul DiGiovanni.
Mari Aguirre-Rodriguez (right) asks District 19 Democratic candidate Helen Madla about her aggressive campaign against state Sen. Carlos Uresti. Photo by Angelica Arriola.

This episode of The 210 Podcast features interviews with state Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-19), Democratic challenger Helen Madla, and Republican candidate Peter Flores.

A few years ago, when a former colleague of mine interviewed Uresti in his San Antonio law office, the walls were plastered with posters and pictures of Don Corleone and young Michael. It wasn’t just a decorating quirk.

Uresti quoted lines from “The Godfather.” He drew life lessons from the epic movie. Clearly, a huge fan.

So the March 1 Democratic primary would seem to be his kind of thing.

State Sen. Carlos Uresti addresses Democratic challenger Helen Madla's claims about his voting record. Photo by Paul DiGiovanni.
State Sen. Carlos Uresti addresses Democratic challenger Helen Madla’s claims about his voting record. Photo by Angelica Arriola.

Helen Madla is coming after him. Madla is a South San Antonio Independent School District board trustee and widow of the Sen. Frank Madla, whom Uresti toppled in Senate District 19 in the 2006 Democratic primary.

One of Madla’s common complaints about Uresti’s performance as a senator is that he has given his brothers and other family members money from his campaign funds.

Uresti told the Rivard Report in an interview last month that the modest payments were justified reimbursements for family members who took time from their own work to work on his campaign.

“I have been paying my brothers, for example,” Uresti said. “We’re proud of that support. We are a big family. People contribute because they want you to run an effective campaign. I don’t hide from that.”

In other words, warring clans at it again, each defending their family honor, each wounded by the other’s betrayal. The stuff of high drama.

Well, honestly, the race isn’t quite that. Think something a little less operatic.

This is a race that features a grainy, creepy-stalker video and allegations of womanizing, charges of nepotism, painful memories, and a long-shot candidacy.

The backdrop is a Senate district that reaches from San Antonio to nearly El Paso, a swath that includes 17 counties.

The 210 Podcast is recorded at The Workery.

Mari Aguirre-Rodriguez (right) sits down for an interview with District 19 Republican candidate Peter Flores. Photo by Paul DiGiovanni.
Mari Aguirre-Rodriguez (right) sits down for an interview with District 19 Republican candidate Peter Flores. Photo by Angelica Arriola.
https://rivardreport.wildapricot.org

*Top image: Mari Aguirre-Rodriguez (right) asks District 19 Democratic candidate Helen Madla about her aggressive campaign against state Sen. Carlos Uresti. Photo by Angelica Arriola.

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Greg Jefferson

Greg Jefferson is a producer of the 210 Podcast. He is also the communications director for City Councilman Joe Krier (D9), and a former business editor and columnist at the San Antonio Express-News.