In his previous stint as Edinburg’s mayor, Richard Garcia said his term was marked by major accomplishments that proved he can bring positive growth to the city.

Trying to pick up where he left off, the current Edinburg Economic Development Corporation board president has announced the start of his bid for another term as mayor in the May city election.

Garcia made his campaign announcement at a formal event on Jan. 8 at the Echo Hotel.

The city needs to reestablish regional cooperation between the metroplex cities of McAllen, Pharr and Mission, Garcia offered as one of the key aspects of his mayoral agenda. The city also needs to foster cooperation between UTPA and South Texas College.

“We had that going on, but that no longer exists,” he said. “We used to meet once a month, the mayors of the five cities including Reynosa to discuss regional issues and resolve them.”

In his former capacity as mayor, Garcia said he and his staff recognized immediately the need for a new City Hall facility. During his tenure Garcia said he paved the way for a new library, police station, and water plant.

He said he also led the way for the construction of the new Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley, and along with EEDC Executive Director Ramiro Garza Jr., lured Santana Textiles to construct a $180 million manufacturing plant to bring 800 jobs to the area.

“I think we did a good job,” Garcia said. “I served the previous term, and we accomplished many things in the city. When I came in we recognized immediately that we needed a new City Hall. Citizens were having to fight for new parking meters to get to the City Hall. We built a great new facility, a new library, a new police station, a new water plant during my tenure.”

If elected Garcia announced his plans to link downtown. Following earlier meetings with UTPA President Blandina Cardenas, preliminary ideas callded for a student corridor through the downtown area, with a focus on having “destination businesses” to the area. The city also needs greenspace, and additional lighting, Garcia said.

Current Edinburg mayor Joe Ochoa offered no official date on when, or even if, he would announce his reelection campaign for the second time against Garcia. At a city commissioners meeting on Jan. 6 Ochoa said an announcement will be made later this month, but did not specify on a time, date, or location.

Ochoa narrowly defeated Garcia by 500 votes in 2006.