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Val Verde Democratic Primary

Conexion Del Rio/Newsroom

Del Rio, Texas – 3,403 Democrats in Val Verde County cast their ballots in the Super Tuesday election, making their voices heard on Federal, State and County candidates. Of the over 28,000 registered voters, less than 12% participated in the Democratic primary.

Voter’s first chose from seventeen presidential candidates on the ballot, several who had already suspended their campaigns by the Tuesday election date. Statewide Joseph R. Biden (32%) received the most votes followed by Bernie Sanders (30%).

In the United States Senate race of twelve candidates a majority is required to select the nominee so there will be a runoff election between the top two vote getters between Mary “MJ” Hegar (23%) and Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez (14%).

The race for US Congressional District 23 covers Val Verde and counties from El Paso to San Antonio. The favorite and 2018 candidate, Gina Ortiz Jones had four challengers including Former County Judge and Del Rio mayor Efrain Valdez. Ortiz Jones received 66% of the vote and will avoid a runoff election.

The ballot continued with a handful of state races for judge on the supreme court and court of criminal appeals. The State Senate District 19 saw a campaign between Roland Gutierrez, a 2018 candidate, Xochil Peña Rodriguez and Freddy Ramirez, all of San Antonio. The most votes went to Xochil (44%) followed by Roland (37%). The winner of the runoff will face Peter Flores, the Senate Incumbent on the Republican ticket.

The District 74 state representative race was a competition between Rowland Garza of Del Rio, Eddie Morales and Ramsey English Cantu of Eagle Pass. This position was previously held by Poncho Nevarez who chose not to run for re-election under a cloud of controversy. Covering twelve counties from Eagle Pass to Pecos the voters cast over 18,000 votes giving Eddie Morales just over 50% of the votes to avoid a runoff. He will face Ruben Falcon of Fort Stockton in the November election.

F. David Ortiz was unopposed in the Democratic Primary for the position of District Judge of the 63rd Judicial District and will face the winner of the race in the Republican Primary. Also unopposed were brothers David E. Martinez for County Attorney and Jose Francisco “Joe Frank” Martinez for Sheriff. David faces a potential independent candidate in the November election but there was no Republican candidate making Joe Frank the Sheriff elect.

The office of County Tax Assessor-Collector was also decided between the current appointee Rogelio Roy Musquiz, Jr after the retirement of Bea Muñoz and longtime employee Eloida “Loly”Garcia. Loly received 1,787 votes to Roy’s 1,392, with no Republican candidate Loly will fill that office on January 1st.

At the Precinct level, the only contested races were in Precinct 1. Incumbent Martin Whitehead Wardlaw faced a challenge from Liz Elizalde De Calderon and Carlos “Charlie” Robles. Commissioner Wardlaw received 497 votes or 55% of the vote to avoid a runoff election.

In the race for Justice of the Peace the voters chose between four candidates. The current appointee Roberto Castillo after the retirement of Jim Bob Barrera faced Jesse James Treviño, Ramon Ray Hernandez and attorney Clay Cowan. There will be another race on the March 26th runoff ballot between Treviño (310 votes) and Roberto Castillo (225 votes).

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Ramiro Guzman
Ramiro Guzman

CORRECTION: Mary “MJ” Hegar will face Royce West of Dallas.

Also, Danny Reyes was unopposed in the primary but will face Republican John Skellton in the November election for the Constable Precinct 2 position.

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