Presidio County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 candidate questionnaires

Candidates for Presidio County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 weigh in ahead of the March 1 primary election 

Dina Jo Marquez (D) 

  • Tell us about yourself. What experience will you bring to this role?

I am Dina Jo Losoya Marquez and I am seeking election for Justice of the Peace Pct. 1. I was born and raised in Alpine, Texas, but Marfa is where my roots started as my mother was born in Marfa and attended the Blackwell School. I am married to Glenn Marquez, a native of Marfa. I graduated from Sul Ross State University with a Bachelor of Science degree. I majored in criminal justice and minored in psychology. In 2001, I took a position as an adult and juvenile probation officer and within a few months transferred to full-time juvenile probation officer for the tri-county. I served 16 dedicated years of working with the youth from Marfa, Presidio, Redford and Candelaria. I was appointed by the Presidio County Commissioners Court on November 17, 2021, as justice of the peace, and sworn in December 7, 2021. I have attended the Texas justice court training in San Marcos and completed the new judge stage I and II trainings. I will use my experience to ensure justice and fairness. I am excited, looking forward to continuing and furthering my career in law enforcement working as Justice of the Peace Pct. 1.

  • What would your three primary objectives be going into the role as Justice of the Peace? 
  • What will be your approach to serving the community? Will you offer hearings in both English and Spanish? What other measures will you take to ensure accessibility and transparency?
  • A former justice of the peace for this precinct, David Beebe, tended to set bail at what an arrestee could afford, in instances where the arrestee was not a danger to themselves or others, and has stated that “bond used as punishment is unconstitutional.” As justice of the peace, would you follow this precedent? How would you approach the responsibility of setting bail? 

Editor’s note: Rather than answering each question individually, the candidate provided one response.

My 3 objectives as a Justice of Peace: 

  • Being effective and exemplary at performing my duties, and adhering to my responsibilities pertaining to the office of the justice of the peace. Regarding accessibility, during business hours the door and phone lines to the office will be open to the people with pending citations, magistrate, death inquest, and (my favorite) performing marriage ceremonies. They will be assisted by a live person and not a computer-generated recording.   
  • Being bilingual, if and when needed I will speak in Spanish. During a hearing with persons that can only communicate in Spanish, a professional certified translator will be made available to them to assist and to make sure everything is clarified properly and efficiently. 
  • My approach to keep things straightforward, transparent and fair across the board is to comply comprehensively with the standards and guidelines that are set forth by the state of Texas and keeping with the Eighth Amendment avoiding imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, but setting bail, fines and bonds according to the merits of the individual and the case. 

 

Raul Lara (D) 

  • Tell us about yourself. What experience will you bring to this role?

I am Raul Lara, son of Irma Lara and the late Juan Lara Sr. of Marfa, Texas. My mom grew up in Alpine and attended Centennial School and my dad attended the Blackwell School in Marfa.

To my Presidio County constituents: If I am so humbled and blessed to serve as your next Justice of the Peace Precinct 1, I will take the oath that I will, to the best of my abilities, preserve, protect and defend the constitution and the laws of the United States and of this state, so help me God. That is an oath that I took as an MISD school board member and Marfa City Council member and took to heart.

I bring over 31 years serving the public — I have served in the Marfa ISD Board of Trustees, as former city council member and current city council member — and serving in retail services in our community of Marfa.

  • What would your three primary objectives be going into the role as justice of the peace?
  • What will be your approach to serving the community? Will you offer hearings in both English and Spanish? What other measures will you take to ensure accessibility and transparency? 
  • A former Justice of the Peace for this precinct, David Beebe, tended to set bail at what an arrestee could afford, in instances where the arrestee was not a danger to themselves or others, and has stated that “bond used as punishment is unconstitutional.” As Justice of the Peace, would you follow this precedent? How would you approach the responsibility of setting bail? 

Editor’s note: Rather than answering each question individually, the candidate provided one response.

Objectives: I will bring to the role of justice of the peace humility, compassion, balance, fairness and be firm and have an open door policy. My office will hold hearings in English and Spanish to be transparent.

What other measures will I take to ensure accessibility and transparency? By working together and adopting these common sense principles, we can make sure everyone has access to their government while also ensuring our public bodies are transparent and accountable to the people. These principles of open and honest government are the values of common cause.

How would I approach the responsibility of setting bail? The bail and conditions of bail shall be sufficient to give reasonable assurance that the undertaking will be complied with. The power to require bail is not to be used to make bail an instrument of oppression.

I will uphold the Texas Constitution as it is written.