Candidates for Hidalgo County 464th District Court pitch qualifications to voters
The Hidalgo County 464th District Court was created in 2017 by the Texas Legislature. The Legislature agreed to do this to ease the number of caseloads in other district courts. Overtime, Governor Greg Abbott appointed Judge Ysmael Fonseca to the bench in August 2019.
Today the incumbent, Fonseca is running against Attorney Joe Ramirez, both men explain why and how they are qualified to sit on the bench.
“One of my first legal jobs was at the civil rights division of the justice department working with mostly human trafficking victims. I helped prosecute cases all the way from L.A. to Buffalo, New York,” Judge Ysmael Fonseca said.
Attorney Joe Ramirez found his calling in law as a young man working at a metal stamping company. He was one of the few bilingual speakers who communicated the concerns of Latino employees to industrial management.
“Through many struggles and a lot of discussion with management — we faced a lot of resistance at first, but it got to the point where I actually got OSHA involved. We got some new policies and new regulations that were implemented,” Joe Ramirez, Hidalgo County 464th Judge Candidate said.
As their experiences grew over the years, so did their understanding of crime, drugs and the state of mental health in Hidalgo County.
“In the judicial system we need to make sure we have the resources available. I understand that requires legislation, that requires funds, but if we invest now in our community and making sure that we’re addressing those problems...the mental health issues...then we’re saving ourselves in the long run,” Judge Fonseca explained.
Ramirez also weighed in on the topic explaining the need for courtroom empathy.
“We need to ensure that courts are being represented by individuals that are compassionate and that are understanding and could relate to the community,” Ramirez explained.
The incumbent and challenger are asking for your vote to uphold the law and ensure equality in justice.
“In this past year I've disposed of over one thousand cases. that assures people that when you’re in my courtroom justice will be swift. People don't want cases to be hanging around for several years,” Judge Fonseca said.
Ramirez said if he wins the vote, he promises to be transparent and fair.
“Anyone that walks into the 464th district court will always be treated with dignity and with respect regardless of their social economic status or where they come from or who they know," Ramirez said
As a voter, remember there is no straight party voting this year. It is encouraged that you do more research to find out who you want to be in the Hidalgo County 464th District Court Judge’s seat.