Who is Ray Madrigal?

And how did he get over 20% of the vote in Tuesday's Texas Democrat gubernatorial primary?  In fact, Reynaldo "Ray" Madrigal, age 71, actually won several counties along the Mexican border.  

It's a good question, because while one has not been able to escape stories and on-line ads for his opponent Wendy Davis, Madrigal doesn't even seem to have a presence on the web.   Davis has raised $11 million, much of it from outside of Texas, while Madrigal's most recent filings show no fundraising activities.  I was curious and about a month ago I tried to do some on line research about him.  All I could find was a sprinkling of local news stories from when candidates filed for office, most of which dismissed Madrigal as a crank because he had run for public office several times before.  I also found a YouTube of a radio interview from last fall.  With no money and no flashy Ivy league degree to make him an honorary member of the media tribe,  Madrigal was not even included in many candidate forums and was dismissed in newspaper endorsements. His campaign seems to have consisted of local radio interviews and personal appearances.  

While Madrigal may not be qualified to be governor, it is doubtful that the self-promoting Davis is, either.  Personally I found Madrigal the more interesting candidate.  He enlisted in the army at age 17.  He has held many jobs over the years and has earned two degrees along the way.  He also has been involved in local civic issues for decades.   He is currently a municipal judge despite not holding a law degree and is said to be doing a good job in the position.  In terms of both common sense and character, if it came down to a forced choice between the two I would prefer Madrigal. 

We hear a lot about dissent within the Republican Party but Madrigal's vote totals and his strength in the border counties suggests that many Democrats are not happy with media darling candidates like Wendy Davis and her pro-abortion agenda.