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Mayor’s Race candidates state positions

My name is Maria Cortez Ochoa (better known by Maria D. Rodriguez). I came to Galena Park from Mexico over 40 years ago in search of a better life and opportunities for my family. In that time, I have raised my two sons in Galena Park where they attended GPISD before going on to obtain professional careers, have worked for GPISD for 20 years, and have become a leader in my community.

For many years I have enjoyed volunteering in my community and serving as a leader through Rotary Club as a member and, for a time, as President, as well as LULAC. I hope, that if nothing else, that through these programs, I have inspired many of our youth to give back through volunteering wherever they may find themselves in life and in the future.

I am now running for Mayor of Galena Park to continue to help where I can and to inspire change, growth and success. I want to bring our community to a level where all of our citizens have a voice and all are treated with the same level of respect.

Our citizens deserve better infrastructure, particularly in the area of water and sewage. Our city employees deserve and should be provided with better training so that they can better maintain this infrastructure along with the city’s public spaces. Our businesses have helped carry this city for years, they too deserve our attention and assistance. It’s time for us to all come together. Galena Park, Galena Manor, Woodland Acres, all of us. As a united community we can take move our city beyond the issues we face in our reality today. United we can move address the issues and move forward towards an exciting, prosperous, future.


Esmeralda Moya is a Graduate of Galena Park Senior High School. She earned her Associate’s Degree from San Jacinto College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from The University of Houston, and a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology Degree from The University of Houston Clear-Lake.

Mayor Esmeralda Moya serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the city. As the City’s Chief Administrator and Official Representative. Mayor Esmeralda Moya is responsible for the general management of the city and for seeing that all laws and ordinances are enforced.

The City of Galena Park made history on June 21, 2014, by electing Mayor Esmeralda Moya as the first female Hispanic to hold this position.


My name is Barry Ponder, and I’m running for Mayor for the City of Galena Park. I’ve been a resident of Galena Park for over 66 years. I learned my values from two loving parents. My father, a 35 year veteran with the 101st Airborne, taught me the importance of honesty, integrity, respect and public service. My wonderful wife of 37 years, Cheryl and I have two sons. My younger son has served in the 82nd Airborne for 25 years, while my elder son works at the Shell Corporation in operations. They have blessed us with four beautiful grandchildren.

I am running for Mayor because the city needs a leader that has the skills, background, and energy to get the job done. As Mayor, I realize that good leaders recognize employees; great leaders appreciate them. I believe that change is possible, that opposing political parties can work together and ignite fresh solutions to the stubborn problems in our city. I will be a Mayor for everyone regardless of whom you voted for or your race. We have serious full time problems that require a Full Time Mayor.

My strong work ethic and business background serve as the foundation that will enable me to achieve my goals for Galena Park. I will work tirelessly to reach those goals for the citizens; not only Monday thru Friday from 8am – 5pm, but I will also open City Hall one Saturday per month to address citizens’ concerns. Below are just a few of my priority goals for the city.

— Vigorously pursue bringing in new businesses such as a new grocery store, meat market, restaurants, and stores that generate revenue and help create much needed jobs.

— Initiate flood control measures along Center St. and add retention ponds to alleviate flooding throughout the city.

— Implement a True infrastructure program by replacing antiquated water and sewer lines.

Galena Park’s election and all the local elections are included on the Harris County ballot. The ballot is 21 pages long; look for Galena Park City Council on page 4. Please be sure to get out and VOTE.

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