New Willacy County commission reigns

LEFT: Mario Tijerina (Courtesy: Willacy County/Facebook) RIGHT: Ernie Garcia (Courtesy: Ernie Garcia/Facebook)

RAYMONDVILLE — A new Willacy County commission is taking reign.

On Jan. 1, Mario Tijerina, a longtime Raymondville school board member, and retired lawman Ernie Garcia take the oath of office following last month’s general election.

On the commission, Garcia takes the Place 4 seat after defeating two-term incumbent Eddie Gonzales in the March 1 Democratic primary.

Meanwhile, Tijerina, who resigned from his school board post, takes over for Oscar De Luna, San Perlita’s longtime mayor who died last year during his second term on the commission.

In last month’s general election, Tijerina won 346 votes to defeat Republican Joe Cervantes, who took 211 votes.

In March’s Democratic primary, Tijerina, Precinct 2’s foreman who served on the Raymondville school board since 2002, won 371 votes to defeat former county Treasurer Arturo Gomez, who drew 103 votes.

At Precinct 2’s office, Tijerina had worked under De Luna, who had served as its foreman, Irene Cavazos, the county’s Democratic Party chairwoman, said.

Last month, Garcia ran unopposed in the general election.

In March’s Democratic primary, Garcia, the Willacy County Sheriff’s Department’s former major, won 288 votes to defeat Gonzales, a retired bridge inspector who fell short with 170 votes after holding office since 2015.

Mario Tijerina is sworn in as Willacy County Commissioner Precinct 2 by County Judge Aurelio Guerra and other officials on Nov. 18, 2022. (Courtesy: Willacy County/Facebook)

Meanwhile, County Judge Aurelio Guerra clinched a third term in office.

In last month’s election, he won won 1,180 votes to defeat Republican challenger Clayton Lee, an insurance company owner who drew 599 votes amid a strong Republican push.

In the Democratic primary, Guerra ran unopposed, taking 1,013 votes.

Since he took office in 2015, Guerra has led the commission in working to diversify the county’s agricultural economy, entering into contracts that have brought seven wind farms here, pumping about $2 million a year into county coffers.