Open main menu

Raúl González Salinas (born November 8, 1947) is a private security consultant, a businessman, and a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who is the former mayor of Laredo, Texas.

Raúl González Salinas
Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas IMG 1949.JPG
Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas at the 2008 Veterans Day ceremony at Laredo Community College
Mayor of Laredo, Texas
In office
June 17, 2006 – November 12, 2014
Preceded byElizabeth "Betty" Garcia Flores
Succeeded byPete Saenz
ConstituencyCity of Laredo, Texas
Personal details
Born (1947-11-08) November 8, 1947 (age 71)
Alice, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Yolanda Salinas (married 1989-2012, divorced)[1]
ProfessionFormer FBI agent

Elected to the first of two terms on June 17, 2006, Salinas described himself as a self-styled "political outsider." In that election, he defeated the eight-year city council member John Clifford Galo (born 1958) in a low-turnout election: 9,665 votes (52.75 percent) to 8,657 (47.25 percent).[2] In 2012, Galo was handily elected to the Webb County commissioner's court for Precinct 3, a position which he still holds.


A native of Alice, the county seat of Jim Wells County east of Laredo, Salinas is a graduate of the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland.

Salinas opposed the construction of the border wall along the Rio Grande. He claims that the wall would devastate Laredo economically because Mexican laborers sustain the local economy by as much as 40 percent.[3]

Salinas opponent Gene Belmares (2010)

Salinas's first term was extended to four and one-half years so that city elections henceforth coincide with the November general election of non-presidential even years. Salinas led in the first round of voting and then defeated the outgoing 8-year city council member Gene Belmares (born 1963) by a 2-1 margin in the runoff election held on December 11, 2010. Salinas successfully used the slogan "Still, The Right Man" in his reelection campaign. Belmares carried the backing of the Laredo Morning Times but finished with only 34 percent of the vote in a low-turnout election. At times the campaign bogged down in trivia, as each candidate attempted to take credit for the installation of speed bumps in a particular neighborhood. Salinas polled 12,783 votes to Belmares' 6,575.[4]

Belmares was succeeded on the 8-member city council in District 6 by Charlie San Miguel, who vowed to make traffic congestion in north Laredo a priority.[5]

Salinas was term-limited and is ineligible to have sought a third term in 2014. Meanwhile, his former wife, Yolanda Salinas, who once owned a beauty supply store in Laredo, was an unsuccessful candidate for the District 7 seat on the Laredo City Council in the November 6, 2012 municipal elections, which were held concurrently with the contests for U.S. President and Congress.[6] She finished third in a four-candidate race.[7]

Salinas was an unsuccessful candidate for Webb County treasurer in the Democratic runoff election held on May 27, 2014. In the primary election on March 4, 2014, he led by 250 votes the incumbent treasurer, Delia Perales, who finished second in the balloting.[8] Several other candidates were eliminated in the primary, including Cynthia Mares, then president of the board of trustees of Laredo Community College and an appointed county official; she carried the endorsement of the Laredo Morning Times.[9] However, Salinas lost the runoff to Perales, who polled 7,394 votes (61.5 percent) to his 4, 628 (38.5 percent). With no Republican opposition, Perales began her fourth term in the office on January 1, 2015.[10][11]

Still a staunch Democrat, Salinas appeared at a campaign event in Laredo in 2017 for Beto O'Rourke, the U.S. Representative for Texas' 16th congressional district based in El Paso, who challenged, and lost to Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz in the general election November 6, 2018. Salinas noted that "Latinos will soon be the majority," but he asked, "What use is being the majority if you don't go out and vote?" He urged Latinos to become more politically active in reference to immigration reform.[12]


  1. ^ Andrew Kreighbaum, "Mayor, wife to divorce," Laredo Morning Times, January 7, 2012, p. 3
  2. ^ Laredo Morning Times, June 18, 2006, p. 1
  3. ^ Kahn, Carrie (2006-07-08). "Immigration Debate Divides Laredo". NPR. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
  4. ^ Nick Georgiou, "Elections 2010: Landslide Victory, Salinas Wins Again," Laredo Morning Times, December 12, 2010, p. 1, 12A.
  5. ^ Cesar G. Rodriguez, "San Miguel elected to council," Laredo Morning Times, December 13, 2010, pp. 1, 12A.
  6. ^ Stephanie Ibarra, "Salinas files for City Council post", Laredo Morning Times, August 9, 2012, p. 3A.
  7. ^ "How Webb Voted", Laredo Morning Times, November 7, 2012, p. 1.
  8. ^ "Matt McGovern, "Three Webb County races end in run-offs", March 5, 2014". KGNS-TV. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  9. ^ "Editorial Board announces endorsements for primary", Laredo Morning Times, February 18, 2014, p. 4A.
  10. ^ KGNS television report, May 27, 2014
  11. ^ Aldo Amato, "Perales gets 61.5%: Victory secures fourth term for treasurer", Laredo Morning Times, May 28, 2014, p. 1.
  12. ^ Julia Wallace (August 1, 2017). "U.S. Congressman Beto O'Rourke returns to Laredo, hits up Palenque Grill". Laredo Morning Times. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
Preceded by
Elizabeth Garcia "Betty" Flores
Mayor of Laredo, Texas

Raúl González Salinas
2006 – 2014

Succeeded by
Pete Saenz