State district judge to order BISD trustee runoff election

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A year after the election, new developments emerged in a legal battle for a Brownsville Independent School District (BISD) seat. 

A state district judge has given candidate Marisa Leal another chance at the seat currently held by long-time trustee Minerva Peña.   

READ ALSO: Brownsville ISD school board censures trustee

A district judge in San Patricio County said there were 24 illegally cast votes in the trustee election, which exceeded the margin of victory, adding that there are plans to order a runoff election. 

Leal narrowly won during election night in 2020 by one vote. The victory was short-lived after a recount showed Peña winning by eight votes. 

Peña remains under investigation after the BISD Board of Trustees referred an alleged nepotism violation to the Cameron County District Attorney's Office. Peña has been part of the school board for 14 years. 


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