Benavides wins fourth term as Pct.1 county commissioner

Sophia C. Benavides, the Pct. 1 Cameron County Commissioner since 2006, was re-elected to office Tuesday by a comfortable margin, garnering 4,576 votes to 1,668 for her opponent Donald Clupper to win her fourth term as commissioner.

Complete but unofficial results showed Benavides winning with 23 of 24 precinct reporting.

Clupper, a retired Brownsville Independent School District teacher who ran on a pledge to work for the creation of well-paying jobs, not just service type low-paying jobs, opposed Benavides for the Democratic nomination. There were no Republican candidates for the post.

Benavides was appointed to the Pct. 1 post in 2006 following the death of her late husband, longtime Pct. 1 commissioner Pedro “Pete” Benavides. She was first elected in 2008 and won re-election in 2012 and 2016.

“I’m ready to continue my work for progress in Cameron County and Precinct 1,” Benavides said Tuesday night as she waited for vote totals to be posted outside the central jury room at the Cameron County Courthouse.

Benavides expressed gratitude to all the people who have supported her over the 13 years she has served as commissioner. Among accomplishments while in office, she cited these in particular:

>> Road improvements.

>> Bringing healthcare to the community center on California Road

>> Economic development in Precinct 1.

>> Improvements to the county’s coastal parks, including $30 million at Isla Blanca Park and $3.5 million at E.K. Atwood Park.

She also supported the merger of the Rio Grande Valley’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

“This move will put us at the table so we can tap into discretionary funds that we wouldn’t have been able to access before,” she said.