Early voting for the November 2018 elections begins on Monday, Oct. 22 and ends on Friday, Nov. 2. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

One race on the Jim Wells County ballot includes the Justice of the Peace Precinct 1. Running for the position are Richard DeLeon and Hector Villarreal. 

Below are some questions the candidates answered for voters.

Richard DeLeon

What position are you running for in the upcoming election?

I am running for the position of Jim Wells County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1.

What is your platform?

My campaign platform is simply to make things better for our citizens and our community.  If elected as Justice of the Peace, my priorities are as follows:

1. To run a fair court where Justice can prevail.

2. Operate the court with transparency and.

3. To work together with the JWC officials, fellow JWC judges, law enforcement authorities and JP Office staff in order to make the JP court as efficient and effective as possible.

Why did you want to run for political office?

I am running for a political office simply because “I Care”.  Many years ago, I was recruited by the Alice Police Department at a young age of 19.  For the next 34 and a half years it was an honor to serve and protect our citizens and community.  My entire life I have shared a strong heart for everyone especially our community’s children and elderly.  

Two years ago, I retired from the Alice Police Department with honors.  During my career with the department I was never in any trouble, and received numerous awards from the community.  I am honest, respectful towards others, dedicated and loyal to our community.  

After retirement, I accepted a part time position with the Jim Wells and Brooks County 79th District Court. Now, I spend many hours inside a courtroom.  I am ready and willing to represent you well as your Justice of the Peace.

Have you met with voters and what concerns have they expressed to you?

Yes, I have met with citizens in our community.  Some concerns from our citizens have been about family violence, fairness, bonds, and being available at a time of need.  I will be available for our citizens of this community.  I have the experience from my years of service with the Alice Police Department and I am ready to take the responsibilities and duties of a JP.

How do you plan to address their concerns?

Citizen concerns are important to me.  During my campaigning, I have been answering questions as they come.  I believe in answering and addressing each concern.  To the best of my ability, I will always find the best solution or answer to their concerns. I am available and have been addressing concerns my entire career.  

What would you like voters to know about you?

I would like voters to know that I have strong values in Family, Faith and Religion.  I am a native of Alice, born and raised.  I have been married to my lovely wife Esther for 30 years and five years ago we renewed our marriage vows.  We have two adult sons Allan and Bo.   I attended Alice ISD schools and graduated from Alice High School.  I played Coyote Football as a wide receiver for the 1979 Semifinal team.  I am a graduate from Del Mar College Law Enforcement Institute in Corpus Christi, TX.  I have over 2000 classroom hours in additional Government training.  I received my Instructors license and Master LE Certificate through the State.  I have instructed many Law Enforcement men and women throughout the years.  Special trainings that I received have been with the FBI S.W.A.T. team, the Department of Defense JTF6 for Law Enforcement.  I have also had specialized training by the US Army Rangers, US Air Force, and US Marines.  I was the Special Operations Commander for 25 years with the Alice Police Dept.  I am experienced in courtroom  proceedings, court testimony, criminal investigations, death investigations, medical examiner’s office autopsies, traffic laws and civil and criminal law.  These are important qualities needed in order to be a successful Justice of the Peace.  I am a man of Honor and Respect.  I will make it my mission to represent you well as your JP with my professionalism, fine discipline, honesty, integrity, fairness, and dedication.  I will be available for all our citizens.  I can make a positive difference in our community and judicial system.   If elected, I will take my work experience, trainings and courtroom experience to run the JP court with a committed heart.  

I am a member of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, a member of the Perish Council, Knights of Columbus third degree member and a Trustee Board member.  I am also a member of the Coyote Cooks and enjoy helping when called upon.  For over thirty years I have coached hundreds of our youth in Soccer, T-Ball, Little Dribblers, Baseball and Alice Coyotes 7 on 7 football.  My time to these sports has given me wonderful memories that I cherish.  I am also an active volunteer to the Alice Boys and Girls Club.  So if you see me out and about feel free to stop me, remember there are no strangers to me only friends. 

Hector Villarreal

What position are you running for in the upcoming election?

I am running for Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1 of JWC.

What is your platform?

My platform is simple: "I am fair, approachable, impartial but emphasize accountability."

Why did you want to run for political office?

Throughout my career in law enforcement, I have always wanted to put my education and experience to good use.  I have been active in our community and have always felt that the lower Justice of the Peace court is typically the first judicial office most young people see.  I felt that I could serve our community in a better capacity by serving as Justice of the Peace.  

Have you met with voters and what concerns have they expressed to you?

I have met with some voters who have expressed their concerns about change in the Justice of the Peace court, how a new Justice of the Peace would affect the community.  I explained to the voters that change does not happen over night.  I will be unbiased, I will not ask where a person lives or comes from to make a decision.  We live in a small community and I do my best to encourage others to put their differences aside in order to work together. 

How do you plan to address their concerns?

My approach is to do everything I can to assist residents, but within the law, within the rules that are appropriate within my jurisdiction.  I understand the economy adds to the difficulty of many issues.  Some can't pay fines in some cases; so I will find ways for the infractions to be met by some equitable compensation, such as community service, etc.  

What would you like voters to know about you?

I would like the people to know, as the Justice of the Peace, I will be fair, thoughtful, impartial, but most importantly one that will listen to the issues at hand and will do my best to assist them resolve those issues.