With Ramsey Muniz heading the ticket and sixteen other candidates from around that included two Chicanas from Lubbock. The RUP Party platform again continued a call for increased bilingual education, improved medical care for all along with fairer public education funding. The platform ideology was in keeping with the RUP philosophy of “One Raises All Raise”. Perhaps as a slogan for the Chicano movement it worked, Pero to win elected office not so much at least not at the State level. 


  This time Ramsey only garnered 190,000 votes which was about 25,000 votes less than last time around, none of the other candidates for state office fared any better. The other two parties were quick to point out, “Told you so, knew it would never work”. Some pointed at the candidates themselves perhaps they were not the best. On personal level I know that many in the Democratic party started a campaign to tell those in the Chicano community that if we voted for RUP candidate it was throwing our vote away. In addition, they definitely at least pretended to care about issues in our community. However, all was not lost Crystal City reelected members of the RUP including Jose Angel Gutierrez as Zavala County Judge. The party was successful in proving to people that said ‘Chicanos could not get elected” wrong. 


  In addition, it recognized the value of woman like Evey Chapa, Ino Alvarez and Martha Cotera and others organized Mujeres Por La Raza (Women for the people) in the RUP. Just this February Chapa spoke with pride in Fort Worth about the work done by her and others in the party. In addition, Rosie Castro former Bexar county chair of the RUP spoke along with former Tarrant county chair Eva Bonilla. There is no doubt that all these folks should be credited with expanding the Democratic party platform to include our community and other communities of color. 

  Then came the beginning of the end, the membership started to dwindle Willie Velasquez one of the original supporters left the party. Velasquez joined the Mexican American Democrats a new start up that targeted La Raza. Velasquez is more well known for starting the Southwest Voter Project that continues today as a voter registration and voter turnout program. In addition, they (SWVP) along with LULAC and in some cases the NAACP sued cities around the state to create single member districts. I personally had the privilege of training with Mr. Velasquez at the San Antonio headquarters back in the early 80s.  But that is a story for another day, back to RUP. 

  In 1976 Ramsey Muniz was arrested on Drug Charges and plead guilty to one count and was sentenced to 15 years. Unfortunately, it got worse for Muniz he was not released until December of 2019 despite the efforts of his wife Irma Muniz to get him released earlier. Pero again this is a story for another day however if interested we have an article that I wrote on him (Thanks to Irma Muniz) that you can search on our website. In 1978 with the party seemingly at its lowest point they ran Mario Compean original founder of the party and MAYO. Compean from San Antonio only managed to pick up 15,000 votes and due to losing some state funds for the primary the RUP was officially dropped as a party.  Some had a hard time accepting its death, most moved on to use the opportunities and training they received with RUP to serve their communities in other ways. Many others continued the fight for equality and fairness in the Democratic Party. The echoes of the RUP is still live in our community today and even in some that have never heard of the Raza Unida Party. There is no doubt that the ideals they championed are still important as they were then. I will close with the words of Jose Angel Gutierrez “We know what the Chicanos did” We are still waiting on the Latinos or now the Latinx. (Parts of article came from internet Chicano history research and my own personal knowledge)


      By A. Govea                                    

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