Hi! I’m Oscar.
My story is kind of a classic El Paso story. My family emigrated from Mexico to El Paso hoping to make a better life for their family and their children. I was nine years old when the nine of us moved into a little house on Olivia Street. When I stepped into Putnam Elementary on that first day of school I didn’t speak a word of English. It hurt me in school. My parents didn’t have money for a tutor. I wouldn’t have made it if it wasn’t for a third grade teacher, Mrs. Braley, who told me she would teach me English over the summer, but I had to come to her house every day from 8-12. I couldn’t be late and I couldn’t miss, and I didn’t. I owe a great deal to her. That’s the difference teachers make in our lives.
Still, it was tough to fit in. I was sent home because of my clothes. I was beaten up and bullied. I had few friends. When I made the football team in fifth grade I got to enjoy the camaraderie of a larger group of friends and things started to change. I was determined and I worked hard but I have never forgotten what it’s like for people to be treated unfairly because of the color of their skin or how little money they have.
My first job was a janitor for a department store in Cielo Vista Mall. I caught another break when Sal Frescas gave me an interview at Kemp Ford. He was called away during the interview, forgot me and left me sitting for two hours. I was still there when he returned. He gave me a job on the spot. Three years later I was made Sales Manager and he worked for me. After that, he followed me as I moved and we worked together over thirty years.
Along the way I met this incredible woman and married her. She was from Denver and had absolutely no reason to fall in love with me… but she did… and today, Lisa and I have four children and 11 grandchildren. Countless diapers, practices, tryouts and games…my childhood sweetheart is my partner in life and we know how lucky we are.
I worked my way up to become the youngest Sales Manager at Kemp Isuzu to Vice President/General Manager of Kemp Ford in 1985. In 2001, I became President and dealer operator of Hyundai of El Paso. Hyundai sold about 15 cars a month at that time. Today, we are one of the largest dealers in El Paso and one of the top Hyundai dealers in the United States. One of my early dreams as a kid was to be able to buy a car. I would spend my time roaming around car lots, ogling cars. Things haven’t changed.
I always wanted to buy my parents a nice house. As Mom and Dad aged I saw my Dad lose his job and my Mother’s business fail. Their security was threatened but now…I could help.
Lisa and I can relate to the struggles of others and we have always gotten a great deal of fulfillment by giving back to help those most vulnerable. Lisa has always been an animal lover. She’s a strong advocate of the El Paso Zoo and animal welfare. She greatly influenced my decision to establish the first “no kill” animal shelter in El Paso.
In 2010, the Sun Bowl was in danger of losing their title sponsor. I hated to see El Paso lose such an iconic family event. Hyundai Motor America and Hyundai of El Paso was the title sponsor for nine years and it’s a joy to be the sole sponsor of the Sun Bowl Parade to this day…even in a difficult year like this one.
From 2013 to 2017, I was honored to serve as your Mayor. I am a strong advocate for truth in accounting and believe in treating the budget as more than an idea. I aggressively reached out to CEOs of interested companies and selection firms of Fortune 500 companies interested in investing in El Paso. I established a “Hire El Paso First” local bid preference policy. Quality of Life (QOL) bonds were approved before my term. I accelerated bond financing by taking advantage of lower cost loans saving millions of dollars. In the taxpayer interests, I negotiated to ensure that the taxpayer’s commitment for the ballpark would not exceed $64 million and that the ownership group would pay any additional costs up front.
What my family wanted is what all families want…to be safe…to be healthy…to be secure.
There will always be challenges. It’s the job of your elected officials to manage those challenges.
I am ready. I’d appreciate your vote.
I will not sacrifice your interests for special interests. I will work everyday to earn your trust.