April 18


The South Side's winners and losers

Philip Cortez and Ciro Rodriguez both grew up on the South Side, jumped into politics early, learned how to organize the grassroots, and call themselves Democrats. That's pretty much where the likeness ends.

Rodriguez came to politics nearly four decades ago as an activist. A social worker, he ran for Harlandale's school board to upend the district's Anglo-dominated status quo. He's comfortable in the role of outsider.

Cortez cut his teeth working other people's campaigns – like State Representative Trey Martinez-Fischer's first legislative race in 2000 – and learned the ropes at City Hall as an aide. He's comfortable in the role of insider.

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