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Ismael “Kino” Flores, Jr., son of former longtime Rep. Flores, D-Palmview, appointed as Associate Judge of Title IV-D Master Court 2 in Edinburg

Photograph By VANESSA FLORES

Featured: Edinburg attorney Ismael “Kino” Flores, Jr., the newly-appointed Associate Judge of the Title IV-D Master Court 2 in Hidalgo County, and the Honorable Missy Medary of Corpus Christi, who is Presiding Judge of the Fifth Administrative Judicial Region.

Photograph By VANESSA FLORES

Edinburg attorney Ismael “Kino” Flores, Jr., son of former longtime Rep. Ismael “Kino” Flores, D-Palmview, will be sworn in on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, as the new Associate Judge of the Title IV-D Master Court 2 in Hidalgo County, according to the Honorable Missy Medary of Corpus Christi, who is Presiding Judge of the Fifth Administrative Judicial Region. The Title IV-D Court hears cases that the Texas Attorney General has provided services under Part D, Title IV of the Federal Social Security Act. 42 U S.C. § 651 et seq.. which include locating an absent parent, determining parentage or the establishment, modification, or enforcement of child support or medical support. The court has jurisdiction in Hidalgo, Starr and Jim Hogg counties.

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Edinburg, Hidalgo County to meet on Tuesday, March 8, to approve $30 million contribution by city towards building $150 million courthouse

Photograph By DIEGO REYNA

Featured, from left: Precinct 4 Hidalgo County Commissioner Joseph Palacios; Hidalgo County Judge Ramón García; Mayor Richard García; and City Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr. In the background are, from left: Agustín García, Jr., Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, and Noé Hinojosa, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer for Estrada • Hinojosa Investment Bankers of Dallas, which is the city’s financial consultant. This image was taken at Edinburg City Hall during the Monday, February 8, 2016 joint work session on the proposed $150 million Hidalgo County Courthouse, which will be built in Edinburg.

Photograph By DIEGO REYNA

Edinburg and Hidalgo County leaders are set to meet on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 to consider approving a financial agreement that could result in the construction of a $150 million Hidalgo County Courthouse in the city’s historic downtown, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. In addition, the elected leaders and the public will receive an update on the architectural details for the proposed courthouse from ERO Architects of McAllen. If all goes as planned, work could begin on the new courthouse before the end of this year, with a completion date of October 2018, weather permitting. The existing courthouse would continue to function while the new facility is being built. The March 8 joint session, which is open to the public and will begin at 2 p.m., will take place in the Council Chamber of Edinburg City Hall, 415 West University Drive, which is two blocks west of the existing Hidalgo County Courthouse complex.

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As newly-appointed Mayor Pro Tem, Richard Molina increases his role as a representative for Edinburg at the local, state and national levels, EEDC announces

Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

Featured, from left: Agustín García, Jr., Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; newly-appointed Mayor Pro Tem Richard Molina; Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg; and former City Manager Ramiro Garza, Jr., who now serves as President and CEO of RG Economic Advisors. This image was taken on Thursday, February 6, 2014, during joint grand opening ceremonies of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation business complex, located at 101 North 10th Avenue, and Canales’ District 40 Legislative Office, which is in the EEDC facility.

Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

With his unanimous selection on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 by the mayor and city council to serve as the city’s mayor pro tem, Councilmember Richard Molina continues to build his leadership role as a representative for Edinburg at the local, state and national levels, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. Molina will now run city council meetings, address business and community groups, and work even more with state and federal lawmakers on the city’s successful legislative agendas whenever Mayor Richard García is unable to perform those duties. For a city such as Edinburg, where economic development advances and improvements to the quality-of-life continue to take place at an impressive pace, being mayor pro tem has always been much more than an honorary title. “Mayor Richard García is a well-known defense attorney, and his busy schedule on behalf of his clients and our city have him traveling away from Edinburg throughout the Valley, Texas, and the nation. This is when the mayor pro tem is vitally needed to show Edinburg citizens how important are their concerns and issues, especially during gatherings and meetings here at home when the mayor is not available,” said Molina. Edinburg is growing so fast that sometimes the mayor is needed at one meeting, and the mayor pro tem is needed at another session that is going on at the same time, he explained. “Just today (Saturday, February 27, 2016), Councilmember David Torres and I represented the city council for an important tour of the new soccer practice fields, which are being upgraded to first-class levels at the Edinburg Municipal Park. One of those fields which will host the practices for the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros professional soccer team,” Molina illustrated. “We also met with Bert García, the president of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers professional basketball team, and Alonzo Cantú, the developer of the $16.8 million soccer stadium complex being built in Edinburg, for an in-depth tour and update of this major new professional soccer venue coming to our city later this spring.” The Rio Grande Valley FC Toros professional soccer team and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers professional basketball team are part of an ownership group which features Cantú, with Bert García in the top executive role. Cantú and Bert García are also key figures, along with the Mayor and City Council, in the planned construction of the $88 million Bert Ogden Arena that will be home to the Vipers, and which is being built in south Edinburg along U.S. Expressway 281/Interstate Highway 69C. For all the responsibilities he willingly takes, and the many hours he dedicates to the city, Molina never takes himself too seriously, often demonstrating that humor and good will go a long way towards keeping the people’s touch that is essential for any political leader. “When Mayor Richard García is not able to make key meetings, then Mayor Pro Tem Richard Molina is ready, willing and able to represent Edinburg,” he said. “You always need a good backup quarterback if you want to get to and win a Super Bowl.”

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Texans for Lawsuit Reform contributes $140,000 to Abraham Padrón campaign; trial lawyers pump almost $50,000 into Rep. Muñoz’ war chest in battle for House District 36 legislative seat

Photograph: HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY
Featured: Rep. Sergio Muñoz, D-Mission, addressing fellow state lawmakers in the spring of 2015 from  the front microphone in the Chamber of the Texas House of Representatives.

Photograph: HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY
 
Texans for Lawsuit Reform, known for its strong support for Republican candidates, has provided $140,000 in campaign contributions to Abraham Padrón, who is challenging three-term Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr., D-Mission, in the March 1 Democratic Party primary, according to the latest campaign finance reports maintained by the Texas Ethics Commission. For his part, Muñoz has received significant financial support from the two major attorney groups – the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, which often favors Democrats, and the Texas Association of Consumer Lawyers – which together have pumped almost $50,000 into the incumbent legislator’s political war chest. Those finding, and other details about who is investing in the House District 36 race, and how much and where the two candidates are spending, cover a period of January 22, 2016 to February 20, 2016. House District 36 includes all or parts of the cities of Hidalgo, Granjeño, McAllen, Mission, Palmview and Pharr. Muñoz, an attorney, has served in the Texas House of Representatives since 2011; Padrón, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Mexico, is an insurance agent. According to these most recent campaign finance reports, which are available online at https://www.ethics.state.tx.us/, both men showed the following data: Muñoz had $131,508.64 in contributions, $117,220.41 in expenditures, $202,772.14 cash on hand, and 286,300 in outstanding loans. Padrón reported $218,625 in contributions, $154,812.13 in expenditures, $71,571.74 cash on hand, and $151,135.06 in outstanding loans. Early voting for the March 1 Democratic and Republic party primaries has been ongoing since Tuesday, February 16, 2016, and will continue through Friday, February 26, 2016. There are no candidates who have filed for the Republican Party nomination for State Representative, House District 36, which means the Democratic Party nominee will most likely will be sworn into office for a two-year term that begins in January 2017. Muñoz lists his campaign address as P.O. Box 1257, Mission, Texas 78573, with Marla Muñoz-López serving as his campaign treasurer. She lists her treasurer address as 1110 South Closner, Edinburg, Texas 78539. The campaign treasure telephone number is 956/381-5555. Padrón lists his campaign address as 800 North 10th, McAllen, Texas 78501, with Delfa Padrón serving as his campaign treasurer. She lists her treasurer address as 800 North 10th, McAllen, Texas 78501. The campaign treasure telephone number is 956/821-8965.
 
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Rep. Muñoz, Abraham Padrón campaign finance reports show that more than $100,000 combined was spent during first 21 days of January 2016

Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

Featured, from left, in foreground: Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr., D-Mission and McAllen Mayor Jim Darling, and in background, from left, Steve Ahlenius, President/CEO, McAllen Chamber of Commerce, and McAllen City Commissioner Trey Pebley. The group was participating in the McAllen Chamber of Commerce’s 84th Legislative Wrap-up Luncheon, held at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel in McAllen on Thursday, July 9, 2015.

Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

In the race for House District 36, Rep. Sergio Muñoz and Abraham Padrón, both Democrats, spent $45,432,82 and $57,002.93, respectively, for the period of January 1 and January 21, 2016, according to the most recent campaign finance reports submitted to the Texas Ethics Commission. House District 36 includes all or parts of the cities of Hidalgo, Granjeño, McAllen, Mission, Palmview and Pharr. Muñoz, an attorney, has served in the Texas House of Representatives since 2011; Padrón, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Mexico, is an insurance agent. Also according to the campaign finance reports, which were received by the Texas Ethics Commission on Monday, February 1, 2016, Muñoz showed $24,450 in political contributions, not including pledges, loans, or guarantees of loans between January 1 and January 21, 2016, while Padrón reported $30,400 in political contributions during that same period, not including pledges, loans, or guarantees of loans. Both men were carrying outstanding loans. Muñoz reported $290,550 in all outstanding loans, with $188,483.90 available for campaign expenditures. Padrón had $92,300 in all outstanding loans, with $6,795.11 available for campaign expenditures. The next round of campaign finance reports were due on Monday, February 22, 2016. Early voting for the March 1 Democratic and Republic party primaries has been ongoing since Tuesday, February 16, 2016, and will continue through Friday, February 26, 2016. There are no candidates who have filed for the Republican Party nomination for State Representative, House District 36, which means the Democratic Party nominee will most likely will be sworn into office for a two-year term that begins in January 2017. Muñoz lists his campaign address as P.O. Box 1257, Mission, Texas 78573, with Marla Muñoz-López serving as his campaign treasurer. She lists her treasurer address as 1110 South Closure, Edinburg, Texas 78539. The campaign treasure telephone number is 956/381-5555. Padrón lists his campaign address as 800 North 10th, McAllen, Texas 78501, with Delfa Padrón serving as his campaign treasurer. She lists her treasurer address as 800 North 10th, McAllen, Texas 78501. The campaign treasure telephone number is 956/821-8965.

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