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Incumbent faces newcomer in Harlingen mayoral race

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A long-time candidate is up against a newcomer to politics in the race for Harlingen mayor.

Chris Boswell has served as Harlingen mayor for 15 years and spent nine years as commissioner. His challenger, Norma Sepulveda, is a former teacher and immigration attorney of 12 years.

Boswell pointed to the city’s success working with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and other growth as a reason for re-election.

"Our sales tax revenues continue to climb at a very fast pace from about $18.5 million ten years ago to almost $30 million this past year," Boswell said. "If you look at our airport, seven airlines, the most airlines in the Valley. Three new airlines in the last three years."

Sepulveda says the city's growth isn't where she wants it to be, adding that she wants the city to attract younger people.

"I want there to be high-paying jobs. I want to ensure that Harlingen is a place that you can live, you can thrive, and it is a place that our young kids want to stay in Harlingen,” Sepulveda said. “I don't want to see my son on Christmas, Thanksgiving and just the holidays."

Looking forward to another three-year term, Boswell wants to continue work started with the 2008 drainage plan.

"We've also secured a $6 million grant to do a master plan for not just Harlingen, but for the region, the northern part of Cameron County,” Boswell said. “We think that's an important project that we want to complete, as well."

Sepulveda is looking to attract entrepreneurship, and revitalize existing businesses that need a hand through incentives and funding.

"Lots of people go to neighboring cities because there's a lot of red tape involved in opening a small business,” Sepulveda said. “I want to change that. I want us to move into 2022, streamline the permitting process, digitize the permitting process so that it's more accessible, easy for people to open up business here in Harlingen."

Election Day is Saturday, May 7.

For election resources, head to krgv.com/elections

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