All through the race for the District 9 council race there was the burning question: Where in the world is Juan Rangel?
Rangel was one of six candidates running for the seat being vacated by Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns although you wouldn't have known it. He didn't show up for candidate forums, file any of the required campaign finance reports and did not return calls from the Star-Telegram seeking comment.
But while Rangel may have been a ghost candidate, he certainly made his presence known days before Saturday's election when a mailer "paid for by the Juan Rangel Campaign" went out to District 9 residents bashing Margot Garza, the other hispanic candidate in a district that is 58 percent Hispanic.
In the end, Rangel received 4.73 percent of the vote in Saturday's election. He received a total of 152 votes. Garza got 459 votes and came in fourth, behind Greg Hughes, who came in third, and Ann Zadeh and Ed Lasater who are headed to a runoff election on June 21.
The mailer slams Garza for working against the Hispanic community, saying she endorsed State Representative Lon Burnam instead of his opponent, Ramon Ramero, Jr., and saying she did not endorse Sergio L. De Leon for Tarrant County Justice of the Peace.
The entire situation begs the question — was Rangel in the district race just to keep votes away from Garza? And where are his campaign finance reports that have yet to be filed?