Listen to the interview
Born March 10, 1954, in Seguin, Texas. Mr. Guadarrama was first elected to the school board of Seguin in 1984. He was the second Mexican American elected to that school board in its entire history. In 1986, he was re-elected to the school board after which he retired from public office and tended to family and business concerns. In 1994 he was elected the first Mexican American county commissioner for Guadalupe County and was re-elected in 1998.
The interview begins with a discussion of the Guadarrama family history and genealogy. He tells about his early life as the stepchild of a military man and the family's frequent relocations which did not allow him to establish long term relations and friends while he was growing up. He also relates how the frequent relocating negatively impacted his education by not allowing consistency in instruction and how that led him to become a failure in school. Mr. Guadarrama elaborates upon his involvement as a member of neighborhood gangs when he was a youth. He explains the events and influences that led him to seek election to the Seguin school board and how his election campaign was conducted and managed. Mr. Guadarrama credits Vincent Patlan as his mentor and states that he had the most positive influence on him and his decisions to enter politics. He talks about how he went about gaining the confidence of the White school board members once he was elected. Mr. Guadarrama explains that he left politics for a few years to tend to family and build his business. He details the events that led to his return to politics when he decided to run for the office of Guadalupe County commissioner. Mr. Guadarrama describes the campaigns and elections. He discusses county commissioner politics and contrasts them with those of school board politics. He laments the difficulty of getting Mexican American voters out to vote and describes that as a major problem in getting elected. He concludes the interview with a discussion of the failures and accomplishments he has experienced as county commissioner and the issues he hopes to address in the future.
Locations of residence or activity: