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Hidalgo County health authority decides against run for Congress

2 years 2 months 2 weeks ago Monday, December 13 2021 Dec 13, 2021 December 13, 2021 4:43 PM December 13, 2021 in News - Local

Hidalgo County Health Authority Dr. Ivan Melendez said Monday he considered running for Congress, but has since decided against it and will remain in his position as the county's health authority.

"I felt, 'What will I be impacting more? A freshman in Congress, one of 400 plus, almost 500 representatives, or as the health authority?'" '" Melendez said. "My expertise is health, right here in the Valley."

Melendez said he planned to pursue a campaign in the 15th Congressional District, but decided against it after conversations with friends, family and members of the community, according to a statement. 

"During the COVID pandemic— I saw a lot of things that were based on political ideology and not really on the recommendations of science," Melendez said. "I really felt that it wasn't time to leave this post as health authority. We still have 58 to 60 people in the hospital a day. We have people dying daily. This COVID pandemic is far from over— there's so much work to be done."

RELATED: U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez will run for a different House seat in 2022 after redistricting made his more competitive

The announcement comes after U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen), who currently occupies the District 15 seat, decided to run for reelection in the 34th Congressional District due to redistricting.

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