Texas may not be considered one of the more progressive states, but a recent election in Del Rio may change that. On Saturday, the town– located about 110 miles west of San Antonio– elected a gay Air Force veteran, named Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano, as its mayor.
Lozano is not only the town’s youngest mayor, but he is now the first openly gay official.
He Was a Security Forces Patrolman in the Us Military
Lozano, who didn’t decide he wanted to run for mayor until 2016, served as a security forces patrolman in the military. The 35-year-old, first-time politician spoke to Into recently about his election and campaign.
“I’ve gained a huge following ever since I put my name in the hat,” he said. “The Baby Boomers have been running the government over the last 20 to 30 years. Del Rio needs investment and infrastructure, flood prevention, and then they also need economic growth.”
The newly-elected mayor is known for his efforts to clean the local town waterways.
The Closest Gay Bar to the Town Is Nearly a 3-Hour Drive
While Lozano may be walking away from the election victorious, Del Rio isn’t exactly known for its inclusive politics. According to Into, the closest gay bar is nearly three hours away from the town. Kitana Sanchez, a trans activist in the community, tells the outlet, “There’s nothing really there for LGBTQ people… Del Rio isn’t necessarily a place to be out and open.”
With Lozano as mayor, however, people are hopeful that this will change. Furthermore, he has faith in his community. “I think that it says a lot that people are very open-minded, despite what you hear in the media. People are not afraid to accept people that are different from themselves.”