Recount confirms one-vote victory by Cabezuela

PRESIDIO COUNTY – Never say your vote doesn’t count in Presidio County.

Following a recount Monday in the Presidio County commissioner precinct 3 runoff election held in late May, Presidio police officer Jose Cabezuela remained the victor as the recount confirmed his 145-144 win over Presidio insurance agency associate Edgar Ramirez.

The recount showed the same election returns as were cast in the May runoff election, Presidio County Democratic Party Chairman Max Kabat told the Presidio International and Big Bend Sentinel Marfa shortly after the two-hour recount was concluded in the district courtroom at the Presidio County Courthouse in Marfa.

Ramirez had asked for the recount – and who wouldn’t in a one-vote margin – and paid the roughly $300 free to have the election reviewed. He arrived at the courthouse with his parents, Marisol and Jaime Ramirez, while Cabezuela arrived with his son, Mark.

“I’m thrilled,” Cabezuela said. “I was hoping it came out that way and it did. I’m ready to get to work for the people.”

The initial election for the south county commissioner post was in the March Democratic Party primary election. The post had been vacant since last summer when former Commissioner Lorenzo Hernandez resigned after he was indicted by a federal grand jury on bribery and corruption charges. He has pleaded not guilty and his trial is in October. The primary election featured three candidates in the race, and neither Cabezuela nor Ramirez mustered 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff election.

Cabezuela technically doesn’t assume the two-year unexpired term left by Hernandez following the November general election, until January 2019.

But since the post has been vacant for almost a year, Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara appointed Cabezuela to the post two weeks ago. His first official commissioners’ court meeting was Wednesday.

“I’m ready to work, not with words but with action,” Cabezuela said, “for everyone, for the city (of Presidio) and to benefit the county.” He added, “I thank the Lord (for the outcome of the election) and I thank those who voted for me. I also thank those who didn’t vote for me but who voted.” He said he and Ramirez remain friends. Ramirez couldn’t be reached for comment. The results of the recount also spoke well for Presidio County District Clerk Virginia “Virgie” Pallarez and her staff who conducted the election. “We had a successful recount on the run-off race,” said Florcita Sainz, the election deputy clerk. “We were able to get an exact match between the original count and the recount — affirming the results conclusively.”