Cameron County’s Sophia Benavides retains seat; tax assessor-collector race heads to runoff

Dozens of campaign signs are staked along Alton Gloor Boulevard on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Brownsville. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)
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Cameron County Commissioner Pct. 1 Sophia Benavides easily batted down a challenge from Erika Perez Murillo in Tuesday’s Democratic Party primary, while the race for county tax assessor-collector will go to a runoff on May 28.

Benavides won by a 2-1 margin, garnering 3,007 votes, or 67.5% of the total, to 1,442, or 32.5%, for Perez Murillo to retain her seat on Commissioners Court. There was no Republican party candidate.

Meanwhile, County Tax Assessor Collector Antonio “Tony” Yzaguirre fell short of achieving election victory outright and will face a runoff with Eddie Garcia, a Brownsville Independent School District board member and retired Brownsville police officer.

Yzaguirre received 8,236 votes, or 45.4% of the total, compared to 6,464 ,or 35.6%, for Garcia, according to unofficial returns posted on the Cameron County Elections Department website with all precincts reporting. Jose Luis “Skippy” Davila received 3,448 votes, or 19%, of the total.

The Republican party did not field a candidate in this race, nor for Justice of the Peace Pct. 2, Place 1, where longtime incumbent Linda Salazar swamped challenger Joe Elizardi by a wide margin, polling 6,363 votes, or 68.9%, to Elizardi’s 2,875, or 31.1%.

There will be a contest for Cameron County Constable Pct. 1 come November.

In Tuesday’s primary, Democrat Ronnie Moore received 779 votes, or 53.2%, to 686, or 46.8%, for Daniel Holland.

Republican Norman Esquivel Jr. received 1,304 votes, 67.5% of the total, to 629, or 32.5%, for Manny Hinojosa III.

Deborah Bell won the race for Cameron County GOP Party Chair, polling 8,062 votes, or 61.7%, to 4,994, or 38.3%, for Tad Hasse.