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Incumbent faces challenger in race for Hidalgo County judge

3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago Friday, November 04 2022 Nov 4, 2022 November 04, 2022 10:16 AM November 04, 2022 in Election Coverage

Dr. Esmeralda Flores is challenging incumbent Richard Cortez in the race for Hidalgo County judge.

If re-elected, it would be Cortez's second term. Cortez says his background in accounting, as well as public service, is needed for the job.

“We have 46 different elected officials that we have to give money to and it's always a challenge because there's always more need than money,” said Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez. “My experience already in public service, dealing with budget and things like that, helps me make better decisions.”

Dr. Esmeralda Flores couldn't speak to Channel 5 News in person, but answered our questions in a written response. Flores says that her long history in education and civic leadership are what makes her a good candidate for judge.

“My roots in the Rio Grande Valley run deep and I will be transparent with local governments in serving Hidalgo County,” Flores said in a statement.

Both candidates hope to address poverty levels in the county. Cortez believes the solution is twofold.

“The best thing we can do is to try to get—remove as many families as we can from that situation, where they can earn a better living,” Cortez said. “For that, we need to train them, educate them. After we do that, then we have to have the jobs.”

Dr. Flores agrees with Cortez’s stance to increase education and employment opportunities in Hidalgo County, but she also wants to lower property taxes.

“She is ready to tackle the important issues facing our families by working proactively, to face the cost of living crisis," Flores said in a statement.

The statement goes on to say that she plans to “reverse the crumbling infrastructure to assure our families are kept safe.”

The county judge is the chief administrator of the county, an important position to be decided by voters on Nov. 8. 

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