Ignacio J. Barraza

Ignacio BarrazaOne of the posts that I’ve back burnered for a while was a rumor I had heard that Nogales Mayor Ignacio Barraza was planning a run against Raúl Grijalva. I thought the move would have been ill-advised, and I couldn’t even run down what party he planned to run in in this supposed campaign.

Well, today I heard that Barraza died at UMC.

I met Barraza years ago when he was a young staffer for Dennis DeConcini. I was shocked to learn that this man, in his twenties and only a year older than me, had already had a heart transplant. Despite these health concerns, he had no trouble working in the high pressure world of US Senate staffers, nor did it later keep him out of the rough and tumble of Nogales city politics. He worked for DeConcini and served a stint in the office of Daniel Inouye. He returned to Arizona and served in his native Nogales as city administrator as well as a partner in a local development company. He was appointed to the Nogales city council and was later elected in his own right.

He was sworn in as mayor this last January.

We’d like to extend our condolences to Barraza’s mother Jaimina, and his brother Marco.

One thought on “Ignacio J. Barraza

  1. My deepest sympathies to Nacho’s family. I also met him many years ago when I interned in Sen DeConcici’s Tucson office. He was such a relentlessly cheerful person, razor sharp about politics but with the unabashed appreciation for the absurd that is necessary to keep one’s sanity in the business.

    Once when we were driving together for an event in Naco we talked about a recent office incident in which I, standing at the fax machine sending something to Washington, literally got in the middle of a physical fight between two women in the office. Each had one one arm on either side of me as they flailed away trying to land punches, although it appears that I was the only one who got hit.

    Recounting this episode, Nacho shared some words of wisdom that have carried me through my professional career for 15 years: “Skeptic,” he said, “if there is one lesson you take away from getting smacked around that day, let it be this: never hire an office staff containing two or more goofy broads. One goofy broad is more than enough, you get two and eventually an intern is going to get punched in the kidneys.”

    Bless you, Ignacio, for a life well lived and thank you for your kind encouragement that pushed me down a career path that I thought was only a dream.

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