Guevara re-elected, Cabezuela wins by one vote

PRESIDIO COUNTY – Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara of Marfa was re-elected to a second term, receiving 638 votes to challenger and Presidio resident John Ferguson’s 538 votes in the Democratic Party primary runoff election on Tuesday, according to the Presidio County District Clerk’s office.

And Jose Cabezuela defeated Edgar Ramirez 145 votes to 144 votes for commissioner precinct 3 in Presidio, triggering a potential recount.

The county judge’s race, as expected, had south county voters giving Ferguson the nod and Marfa voters lining up behind Guevara. Ferguson is the current Presidio mayor and high school counselor. He’s been a public servant for many years, having served earlier terms as mayor and as a Presidio City Council member. In addition, his family bands, The Resonators and Mariachi Santa Cruz, are popular throughout the area.

While Guevara is completing her first term as county judge, she was the longtime justice of the peace before being elected to the County Judge office four years ago, and is proud to be a U.S. Army veteran. She’s a member of the Presidio County Appraisal District board of directors and sits on the Rio Grande Council of Governments board of directors as well and the Big Bend Community Action Agency board of directors.

In the end, Guevara’s 54 percent, 100-vote victory margin was the result of a slightly higher voter turnout in the two Marfa voting precincts, 1 and 7, although there are more registered voters in voting precincts 2 through 6, which includes Shafter/Presidio, Redford, two Presidio proper precincts, and Candelaria.

With no Republican candidate in the November general election, Guevara will begin her second four-year term in January 2019. Guevara, when asked what her thoughts about the election were, said, “It is wonderful to finally have peace in knowing the outcome of this race pending since December! I think it is fantastic that I will be able to continue to serve the people of this county for another four years and plan to do everything possible to make our county a place where people of all ages can count on a brighter future.”

Ferguson congratulated Guevara and said he’s looking forward to “continuing as mayor of my beloved Presidio. It really can’t get much better.”

He joked that, “I won’t miss driving 120 miles a day (between Presidio and Marfa) either,” adding, “We can still achieve our goals, if we all share them.”

While Cabezuela, a Presidio police officer, gets the nod as one of two county commissioners representing the city of Presidio, that race may get a recount.

“It’s be best thing to do,” Ramirez said Wednesday, “to see if anything changes” in the election he lost by one vote. He said he would be in contact with county officials and Presidio County Democratic Party chairman Max Kabat to arrange a recount.

He added that he was pleased with the voter turnout in his race and praised “Mr. Cabezuela as a good guy.”

Cabezuela said he’s ready to restore integrity and honesty to the commissioner’s post. The commissioner’s race is for the unexpired term of Lorenzo Hernandez, who resigned last year after he was indicted by a federal grand jury on bribery and corruption charges. He has pleaded not guilty. His trial is in October.

“It’s time for an honest person to represent the city and the county and I plan to do that,” Cabezuela said.

Technically, Cabezuela’s two-year unexpired term doesn’t begin until January 2019 – there isn’t a Republican challenger in the November general election – but as county judge, Guevara may appoint Cabezuela to the vacant post before that, according to County Attorney Rod Ponton.

In one area and one statewide race, Presidio County voters aligned with the rest of the region and the state in sending former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez into the November general election as the Democratic Party’s candidate for governor against Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

Valdez received 761 Presidio County votes over challenger Andrew White’s 252 votes. White is the son of the late former Texas Gov. Mark White.

But Valdez made state history as the first Latina and gay person to seek the office of governor.

And both Presidio County and area Democrats gave Gina Ortiz Jones the right to face Republican U.S. Rep. Will Hurd in the fall in the race for Congressional District 23.

Jones polled 708 Presidio County votes to challenger Rick Treviño’s 347 votes.

Like Valdez, Jones is gay, and her credentials include being a former intelligence officer with the U.S. Air Force. She is a first-generation American, raised by her mother, who was born in the Philippines.