December 8, 2021 146 PM
TRI-COUNTY — There’s still time to apply for the numerous open public office positions in Presidio, Brewster and Jeff Davis counties, with the open candidate filing period closing on Monday, December 13, 2021.
Applicants will first appear on the ballot in the primary elections on March 1, 2022. From there, successful candidates will go on to the general election in November 2022, with elected officials finally taking office in January 2023. Candidates are required to apply through either the Democratic or Republican county chair. Information on how to apply can be found on the secretary of state’s website: https://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/candidates/index.shtml.
Positions up for election in Presidio County include County Judge, District/County Clerk, County Treasurer, County Commissioner Precinct 2, County Commissioner Precinct 4, Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 and Justice of the Peace Precinct 2.
Republican Chair Dan Dunlap said he has not yet had anyone file for available public office positions under the Republican Party. Under the Democratic Party, José Portillo Jr., who previously served as Presidio city administrator for five years until February 2021, has filed to run for Presidio County Judge.
Raul Lara, who is currently serving on Marfa City Council, has filed for Justice of the Peace Precinct 1, and incumbent Juanita Urias Bishop has filed for Justice of the Peace Precinct 2. David Beebe, who previously served as Justice of the Peace Precinct 1, announced Monday that he will run for County Commissioner Precinct 4. He said a website and campaign events are in the works.
The Big Bend Sentinel did not receive comment from current County Judge Cinderela Guevara or County Commissioner Precinct 2 Eloy Aranda by press time. County Commissioner Precinct 4 Buddy Knight and District/County Clerk Florcita Zubia both said they intend to file for re-election.
As of Monday, December 6, Dina Jo Losoya-Marquez will serve as interim Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 after Beebe, who held the position for seven years, announced that he would be stepping down this past October. Losoya-Marquez will have to file and run against Lara if she wants to continue to serve after Beebe’s unexpired term is up on December 31, 2022.
Brewster County’s open positions include County Judge — Judge Eleazar R. Cano is leaving office after serving as county judge since 2015 — District Clerk, County Clerk, County Treasurer, County Commissioner Precincts 2 and 4, Justice of the Peace Precincts 1, 2 and 3, Constable Precinct 1.
There, Democratic County Chair Mary Bell Lockhart said she has had several inquiries and potential candidates are working on paperwork, but only one candidate has yet to file formally — Oscar Cobos, a minister, is running for Brewster County Judge. Republican County Chair Monica McBride reported Greg Henington, fire chief of the Terlingua Fire Department, and Monty Kimball, attorney, have both filed for County Judge.
Incumbent Bob Steele has filed to run for Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 and Paul Rashott has filed for Justice of the Peace Precinct 2. Mark Chiles filed for County Commissioner Precinct 2, and incumbent Sara Allen Colando said she intends to file soon. Incumbent Flavio Rene Ybarra filed for Constable Precinct 1.
In Jeff Davis County, Democratic County Chair Jeanine M. Bishop said so far the only person who has filed under the Democratic Party is Albert Miller for County Commissioner Precinct 4. Miller has been serving Jeff Davis County for many years, first taking office in 2007. Bob Gray, Republican County Chair for Jeff Davis County, could not be reached by press time and no filings had yet been added to the secretary of state’s searchable database.
The following positions are available in Jeff Davis County: County Judge, District/County Clerk, County Treasurer, County Commissioner Precinct 2, County Commissioner Precinct 4 and Justice of the Peace.
Statewide, Democratic State Rep. Eddie Morales, Jr. filed for re-election to continue to serve Texas House District 74 which represents Brewster, Culberson, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kinney, Loving, Maverick, Pecos, Presidio, Reeves, Terrell and Val Verde counties. Democratic Sen. Cesar Blanco is running for re-election to serve Texas Senate District 29, which represents Culberson, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis and Presidio counties. Democratic Sen. Roland Gutierrez also officially filed for re-election to serve Texas Senate District 19, which includes Brewster County. As of press time no other candidates formally filed to run against Morales, Blanco or Gutierrez.