Federally Indicted Judge Wins the Rio Grande Valley

Remember when former Judge Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado was arrested, indicted, suspended, and resigned his seat on the 93rd District Court earlier this year, due to federal bribery charges concerning his courtroom? We didn’t, but it seems as if the Rio Grande Valley forgot or didn’t even know.

Delgado, a candidate for the 13th Court of Appeals Place 4 who has yet to be seen on the campaign trail, has won two of the biggest counties in the RGV: Hidalgo and Cameron counties.

As someone who doesn’t have a single campaign sign nor any social media presence, Delgado received 60.66 percent (27,659 votes) from Cameron County and 62.57 percent (87,909 votes) from Hidalgo County (according to the unofficial election results).

Straight-ticket voting for Robert Francis O’Rourke is what influenced this race the most, as it is has for the rest of the state. Although Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen. Ted Cruz have visited the area frequently, Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke has campaigned hard with free events targeting Hispanics in what is considered the bluest area in Texas. The Democratic Party of Hidalgo County had ample time to replace Delgado on their ballot; however, they refused to do so and have pushed straight-ticket voting. The Democrats’ initiative to push straight-ticket voting evinces an utter lack of respect for the taxpayers’ time and vote.

TFR-endorsed Judge Jaime Tijerina

13th Court of Appeals Pl. 4, TFR-endorsed Jaime Tijerina, Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, twice Bronze Star medal recipient, and current 93rd District Court Judge (appointed by Governor Abbott after Delgado resigned his seat) stated on Tuesday evening the effects of democratic straight-ticket voting in the RGV.

“Straight-ticket voting has certainly increased in the RGV and throughout the state, and I have 20 counties. I definitely think a lot of people voted straight-ticket, from people who wouldn’t have voted at all.”

Tijerina responded to the peculiarity of his race and his opponent’s federal charges, “There’s some real factual allegations to what he’s alleged to have done [bribery]. And people would still rather vote straight ticket and see someone in that kind of predicament get elected than vote for someone who I would say is better for the job,” he said, referring to himself. “To me, that’s crazy.”

The 13th Court of Appeals encompasses 20 counties along the Gulf, and the RGV alone won’t determine this race, however a good majority of the outcome will be based on the Valley.

Update: In the race for 13th Court of Appeals Place 4 (which encompasses twenty counties), Delgado received 225,551 votes compared with Tijerina’s 222,331 votes. A mere three thousand shy of defeating Delgado. 

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Miriam Cepeda

Miriam Cepeda is the Rio Grande Valley Bureau Chief for Empower Texans. A second-generation Mexican American, she is both fluent in English and Spanish and has been influential in grassroots organizing and conservative engagement within Hispanic communities. If you don’t find her “Trumping”, you can find her saving animals, running her dog, hiking the Andes, or volunteering with the U.S. National Park Service.

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