Lydia Ortega



Lydia Ortega, PhD, is the mayor Plano needs. Born and raised in East Los Angeles, this longtime professor of economics and department chair is a refugee from California’s dysfunctional economic and political landscape. She is a Christian, an American by birth and a Texan by choice.

Studying the works of economists like Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell, and Walter E. Williams, Lydia brings the tools of economics — such as benefit-cost analysis, awareness of unintended consequences, the importance of individual choice, the sanctity of property rights and the rule of law — to all her decisions. The works of scholars such as Mises, Hayek, and Bastiat give Lydia rigorous grounding in the importance of small, efficient government.

With her extensive expertise in free-market economics, she has the technical experience to guide business forward in Plano not with tax subsidies but by offering safe neighborhoods, excellent and varied educational opportunities, an educated workforce, and taxes that are under control. As a now retired, empty nester she can devote herself full time to keeping Plano an affordable, suburban community of excellence.

With fresh eyes, Lydia has rediscovered in Texas the treasures that were destroyed in California. For example, Texans have no problem listening politely to a different viewpoint and then having their say on the issue. It’s called speaking your mind. Such a simple thing as an open, honest conversation doesn’t exist in California anymore. Texans also seemed to be trained from an early age to be self-reliant. It’s practically a code of conduct: Be responsible for yourself, learn as much as you can, and be as healthy and strong as you can, because the code says you have a responsibility to help others. In Texas you hear “May I help you ma’am?” almost as often as you hear “Hi y’all!”

Lydia has also discovered a unique Plano treasure: Plano is a suburban community with a servant’s heart. Over 180 religious organizations coupled with innumerable civic, social, women’s, and grassroots clubs volunteer to serve, seemingly without reservation. Whether you are unloading boxes, tutoring a child, or feeding the hungry at a food pantry, service is one area where we still work human-to-human without regard to political affiliation. A call to service transcends party lines, and it is at the core of who Lydia is as a person. Lydia knows that if we lose this community of service through bad policies, then it cannot be restored. No government or urban planner could design it. As mayor, Lydia will protect this irreplaceable Plano asset.


  • Because of her strong moral center, Lydia fights ardently for integrity in politics.
  • With a doctorate in economics, she is well attuned to thinking strategically about the role of markets, tradeoffs, unintended consequences, incentives, and choice in discussions and policy decisions.
  • She seeks to preserve Plano’s community of service and guard it from policies that could diminish it.
  • Her over 30 years of service in the public sector means that she is well-versed in both policymaking and budgeting. Moreover, it means that she values resourcefulness as she knows that every dollar spent comes from hardworking taxpayers.
  • She believes that individuals develop order out of chaos because we recognize mutually beneficial exchanges and shared self-interest, and she values the preservation of individual choice and freedom over a “one-size-fits-all” government approach.
  • As a collegiate department chair, she encouraged students to challenge ideas, develop critical thinking skills, respect intellectual discourse, and remained steadfastly committed to the ideals of open discussion and the exchange of ideas. She applies those same ideals in the political arena.
  • With fresh eyes, she is able to see what makes Plano unique, what many residents have grown accustomed to and take for granted. Having lost these treasures once, Lydia is committed to protecting them.
  • Serving on several esteemed non-profit boards has not only given her practical experience in areas such as fundraising and auditing but has also instilled an appreciation for transparency in decision-making and respect for the weight of the Council’s fiduciary responsibility to all constituents.



Maria Garcia, President of Hispanic Republicans Club of North Texas and Precinct Chair 

Cody Weaver, Plano ISD Board Member

Jenni Neidig Russell, Chair of the Caring for America Standing Committee

Wayne Coltrane, Former Precinct Chair

Sandra Halsey, Republican Women’s Club of North Texas

Dmitri Maglalang, Filipino Community Leader

Conner Harrington, Republican Women’s Club of North Texas

Tony Ortiz, Political Activist/Consultant

Chris Betts, Activist

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