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20110823_ELECTIONS_T.C.-BEATANCOURT-District-41_EPG_PAGE-1_0042EDINBURG — T.C. Betancourt, a businessman with roots in Edinburg and McAllen announced his intent to run as a Democratic candidate for office for state representative District 41 this week.

“We all want a good paying job, an education, affordable health care and live in a safe community,” Betancourt said Tuesday surrounded by family and friends at his Elite Rehab Services office in Edinburg. “I am a businessman that believes in people and families first…I believe that my years in community service, and my experience as a healthcare and agriculture professional are positive qualifications to serve the people of District 41.”

Aaron Peña (R), also of Edinburg, currently represents District 41. In June, he announced his intention to seek a sixth term.

District 41’s makeup has shifted, and supporters of Betancourt’s campaign said they expected to do a major campaign to educate voters as to which district they lived in. District 41 now incorporates parts or all of McAllen, Mission, Edinburg, Palmhurst and Pharr.

In his announcement, Betancourt criticized the efforts of the previous legislative session, saying leaders “betrayed our trust, and did not take care of us.”

He stressed the state needed to produce more jobs that were better paying and at the same time, support small businesses.

The state’s commitment to public education also needs to be reinvigorated after the state but its education budget, forcing the elimination of programs, increasing class sizes and leading districts to cut back on their workforce.

“If we don’t invest in our education system, our children will suffer and we will pay a heavy price in the future,” he said. “They won’t be able to compete or find jobs.”

Betancourt graduated from Edinburg North High School in 1995. He received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture of science from Texas A&M Kingsville in 1998; he later received his master’s degree in 2002. He also earned a master’s in business administration from the University of Texas-Pan American in 2006.

Along with his wife, Ana, he started Elite Rehab Services in 2005. The rehab center is a regional outpatient therapy clinic specializing in occupational and speech therapy. The business also provides clients with nutritional and social services.

Betancourt is also involved in the Betancourt & Co. produce company.

He serves as the vice president of the Out Patient Independent Rehab Association and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, as well as the Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association.

“Over the next several months, I intend to continue to talk to as many people as I can,” he said. “I want to walk neighborhoods, visit businesses, reach out and learn more.

“I know the next session is going to be even tougher than this last one. I believe that we can still work together and find creative solutions that can build stronger families and communities.”

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