Judge unfazed by theft of campaign sign, vows to keep working to restore integrity to Hidalgo County Courthouse

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For political candidates, the theft of campaign signs is a fact of life.

Yard signs vanish. Posters disappear. Trailers plastered with huge banners, though, tend to stay put.


On Monday, state District Judge Ysmael D. Fonseca was notified that a 53-foot trailer — with one of his signs on the side — had been stolen.

“It’s just a strange situation where there’s three trailers parked there and they stole this one because it had this person’s name on it," said Michael Gay, who allowed Fonseca to place a campaign sign on his trailer. "Just very weird. I don’t think it was a circumstance situation, it was definitely targeted and done purposefully."

The trailer was recovered Tuesday at a business in Brownsville. What happened to the sign on the side remains a mystery.

The Pharr Police Department declined to provide details on the case, which remains under investigation.

Why the trailer was stolen remains unclear. No evidence has surfaced publicly to suggest the crime was politically motivated. 

Fonseca, a Republican who was appointed to the bench by Gov. Greg Abbott, is running against Joe Ramirez, a Democrat.

Ramirez said something similar happened to him.

"I'm confident that our law enforcement will be diligent in locating its whereabouts. I had a similar situation happen to me and luckily the issue was resolved with the help of law enforcement," Ramirez said in a statement.

Fonseca said the theft will not slow down his campaign.

"I won't let them faze me because there's something greater at work here," Fonseca said. "And that's restoring integrity to the courthouse."

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