FEATURED: Seven Democratic Party candidates for three judicial courts in Hidalgo County will be participating in a forum, which is free and open to the public, on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, which will be held at Rio Bank, 701 E. Expressway 83 in McAllen. The event also will be broadcast live that evening, and the videotape recording will remain available at https://www.facebook.com/FuturoRGV/ until Tuesday, March 5, 2024 – which is the primary election day for the Democratic and Republican parties.
Graphics By THOMAS GARCÍA
Seven Democratic Party candidates for three Hidalgo County judicial courts will participate in forum to be broadcast by Futuro RGV on Tuesday, February 6, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Democratic Party judicial candidates Juan Ramón Álvarez, Jesse Contreras, Lydia Elizondo, Abiel Flores, Nereyda Morales-López, Nereida López Singleterry, and Sergio J. Valdez to participate in forum organized by Futuro RGV, which will be held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Rio Bank, located at 701 E. Expressway 83 in McAllen.
The live broadcast, and the videotaped recording of the event, will be available online at no cost at:
“The preamble to the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct does an excellent job in explaining the awesome power of a judge, and why it is so very important for voters to know who are the candidates,” said Dr. Nedra Kinerk, President, Futuro RGV. “It states, ‘Our legal system is based on the principle that an independent, fair and competent judiciary will interpret and apply the laws that govern us. The role of the judiciary is central to American concepts of justice and the rule of law.’”
A preamble is an introductory and expressionary statement in a document that explains the document’s purpose and underlying philosophy. When applied to the opening paragraphs of a statute, it may recite historical facts pertinent to the subject of the statute. Wikipedia
The candidates who win their party’s nominations will have their names on the ballot during the general election – which will feature the races for U.S. president, one U.S. Senate seat, two congressional districts in the Rio Grande Valley, state senate and state representative, along with numerous countywide, regional and local elected positions.
The general election in Texas will take place on Tuesday, November 5, 2024.
Both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party will hold their party primary elections on Tuesday, March 5, 2024.
Abiel Flores, Nereyda Morales-Martínez, and Juan Ramón Álvarez are seeking the Democratic Party nomination for the 332nd District Court.
The incumbent, longtime Judge MarioRamírez, is not seeking reelection.
There is no Republican candidate in the race for the 332nd District Court.
Jesse Contreras and Nereida López Singleterry are seeking the Democratic Party nomination for the 476th District Court.
The incumbent, Ysmael D. Fonseca, is the only candidate for the Republican Party nomination in the race for 476th District Court.
The district courts are the trial courts of general jurisdiction of Texas. The geographical area served by each court is established by the Legislature, but each county must be served by at least one district court. In sparsely populated areas of the State, several counties may be served by a single district court, while an urban county may be served by many district courts.
District courts have original jurisdiction in felony criminal cases, divorce cases, cases involving title to land, election contest cases, civil matters in which the amount of money or damages involved is $200 or more, and any matters in which jurisdiction is not placed in another trial court.
While most district courts try both criminal and civil cases, in the more densely populated counties the courts may specialize in civil, criminal, juvenile, or family law matters.
Lydia Elizondo and Sergio J. Valdéz are seeking the Democratic Party nomination for Hidalgo County Court at Law No. 7.
Valdéz is the incumbent.
There is no Republican candidate in the race for Hidalgo County Court at Law No. 7.
The jurisdictional limits for a Hidalgo County Court at Law means it hears civil cases in which the matter of the controversy does not exceed $750,000, not including interest, statutory or punitive damages and penalties, and attorney’s fees and costs, as alleging the the page of the petition.
Futuro RGV is a group of citizen volunteers who provide information regarding issues and concerns in deep South Texas.
Futuro RGV is among numerous prominent public affairs organizations in deep South Texas. It began as Futuro McAllen as an advocacy citizen group in 1999 for quality-of-life issues that were in danger of being side tracked due to the tremendous growth taking place in that city.
Early voting in the Democratic and Republican party primaries begins on Tuesday, February 20, 2024 and lasts through Friday, March 1, 2024.Texas Secretary of State Jane Nelson has been traveling statewide with her 2024 voter education tour, which designed to make sure Texans know where to go for official voting information, including vote-by-mail requirements and the acceptable forms of photo ID voters can present at the polls.
“My goal is to make sure every qualified Texan who wants to vote has all the information they need to cast a ballot,” Nelson said.
Nelson and elections officials across Texas continue preparing for the 2024 elections, and they are alerting voters to requirements that have changed since the last presidential election. For example:
• Texans voting by mail must provide one of the following numbers on their mail-in ballot application and the carrier envelope of their cast ballot:
•• Texas Driver License;
•• Texas Personal Identification Card;
•• Election Identification Certificate; or
•• The last 4 digits of their Social Security number.
• Texans who have not been issued one of these numbers must indicate so by checking the appropriate box on the application for ballot by mail or carrier envelopes; and
• Texans are eligible to vote by mail if they are 65 or older, sick or disabled, expect to give birth within three weeks of Election Day, or out of their county of registration through both early voting period and Election Day.
• More detailed information, in English and in Spanish, about voter registration, voting in person, voting by mail, voters with disabilities, getting involved, frequently asked questions, resources, and other key information, are available online from the Texas Secretary of State’s Office at:
More About Futuro RGV
The Board of Directors for Futuro RGV are, in alphabetic order:
• Herica González-Brondo, Entrepreneur and Business Owner of “Red 2 Black” Business/Non-Profit Improvements, Founder, With Love from the RGV in partnership with Soldiers Helping Soldiers.
• Annette Franz, Office Manager, John David Franz Law Office, and Past President, McAllen Chamber of Commerce
• Thomas García, Founder and Director of College Leadership Access Program (CSLAP), and Member. Hidalgo County Prosperity Task Force
• Alex Garrido, Director of Digital Marketing, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
• Dr. Nedra S. Kinerk, Retired Professor and Chair, Division of Education, Indiana University at Kokomo, President, Futuro McAllen, and Founding Member, McAllen Heritage Center, Inc., Past Member, Park & Recreation Board, Traffic Commission Board, Civic Center Board, Founding Member of Palmfest International Folklife Festival, and Palmfest Board, all in McAllen
• Laurel T. McLeaish, Retired Staff Attorney and former Assistant Director for Government Relations, Pennsylvania State Education Associates, and former Assistant to the Secretary of Legislative Affairs, Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey
• Albert Morales, Longtime Project Coordinator, AACT (Advocacy Alliance Center of Texas), and former Coordinator/Director 2020 Census for Rio Grande Valley, United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS);
• Davis Rankin, Talk Show Host and News Reporter, KURV-AM, and former part-owner KURV-AM
• Rhonda Salinas, Broker, GRI, owner of The Studios at Bio Bar Gardenia, Hacienda León Real Estate Group, and Infrared workout studio HOTWORX, all in McAllen.
Alicia Pierce contributed to this article. For more on this and other Texas legislative news stories that affect the Rio Grande Valley metropolitan region, please log on to Titans of the Texas Legislature (TitansoftheTexasLegislature.com).