Over 200 people came out to the KC Hall Wednesday evening to hear local candidates speak and debate their platform for the community of Jim Wells County for the March Primary Elections.
Highlights and recaps from the debate
JWC Sheriff Candidates
Rex Ramon and incumbent JWC Sheriff Daniel Bueno
Sheriff Bueno focused on issues with mental health reform in JWC and jail diversion programs. He thanked his staff and noted his accomplishments with forfeiture funds on buying top notch equipment for his team and the recent recognition by the Texas Senate to help other counties as an example of his leadership and staff.
Rex Ramon’s main focus and rebuttal was extending police coverage in the rural areas of Jim Wells County. Although, he went into detail on his past experience as a police officer he fell short on explaining how he was going to have and implement more coverage in rural JWC areas and jail reform.
Ramon’s rebuttal was "Once I become Sheriff I’ll asses the situation and budget accordingly."
JWC District Attorney Candidates
Incumbent District Attorney Carlos Omar Garcia and new candidate Rumy Solis
Garcia focused on his accomplishments for 2.1 million dollars in grant funds and 1.2 million in forfeiture funds. The funds supported nine added staff members to prosecute cases.
Solis’ rebuttal was that JWC lacked an appropriate number of successful prosecutions from the current District Attorney Omar Garcia.
Solis states that he has information from the Texas Board of Administration that in the last four years District Attorney Garcia’s, caseload of 1,300 cases, only 615 have been prosecuted with 333 being dismissed.
Incumbent D.A. Omar Garcia denied that those numbers are accurate.
JWC Commissioner Precient #1 Candidates
George Aguilar, Ricardo Gonzalez, Incumbent County Commissioner Margie Gonzalez and Republican Candidate Amanda Sue Friedeck.
The main area for discussion and debate was the poor roads in Precinct #1 in JWC.
Incumbent County Commissioner Margie Gonzalez’s platform was that she believes buying the equipment to build the roads in Precinct 1 is cheaper and more resourceful than hiring an outside bid for the work. "Having the roads built with county bought equipment offers jobs to the area and provides resources locally, " said Margie Gonzalez.
George Aguliar continued to rebuttal that, "Problems in this area need to be addressed before they get out of control." He never really stated what specific problems besides the roads but he made this statement three times.
Ricardo Gonzalez stated the roads are terrible and he believes outsourcing the work would be more beneficial for the community.
Commissioner Margie Gonzalez defended her platform that for the first time under her leadership that precinct 1 budget is in the positive and not in a deficit and states that only 19 percent of the counties budget goes to precinct # 1. She defends her position that she has balanced the small budget with grant funds to improve roads and flooding issues in the area.