Meet the candidates for Bexar County judge

What three issues do you consider to be most pressing for Bexar County and how would you address them?

As one of the fastest growing communities in the country, I will prioritize economic growth and property tax relief, traffic and infrastructure, and community health and safety. Runaway tax bills are unacceptable. 

To address our lack of infrastructure throughout Bexar County, I would leverage state and federal funding. 

Finally, with respect to community health and safety, I would collaborate with the University Health system, the City of San Antonio, and the 26 suburban cities of Bexar County to address health deserts in the region and work towards providing accessible and quality health care to our community. I have worked hard on all these issues as a state representative, including co-sponsoring legislation to provide over $60 million in property tax relief for Bexar County homeowners, if approved by voters in 2022. I have the proven experience to build on the momentum and solid foundation Judge Wolff has laid.

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Who will be the next Bexar County judge? Early voting starts Monday

Minjarez has been the most forceful critic of state Republican leaders in handling the pandemic. At a recent candidate forum, she praised Wolff, who has served as county judge since 2001, and Nirenberg for promoting the use of masks and encouraging residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

“They did the work that the leadership of this state failed us on,” Minjarez said.

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Ina Minjarez says her time as Texas House rep has prepared her for the role of Bexar Co. judge

"I understand the importance of relationships in order to get things done—that's what's key here," Minjarez said. "You need to have a leader that can work with everyone, understands the importance of key partnerships, to ensure that every stakeholder is brought to the table to be transparent and accountable to the public. That way, we can move the county forward."

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Minjarez, Sakai, Gonzalez face off in Democratic primary for Bexar County County Judge

Minjarez, a lawyer by trade, announced her candidacy in November, saying she had become disillusioned by the “toxic atmosphere” at the Texas Capitol since being elected in a 2015 special election to fill House District 124. She is endorsed by the San Antonio Express-News for the Democratic primary, and says her priorities are property-tax relief, safe neighborhoods and securing federal funds for Bexar County.

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TDEM’s ribbon cutting at New Strategic Supply Warehouse

Today, #TeamIna attended ribbon cutting for new Texas Division of Emergency Management Region 6 Warehouse which will serve 43 counties in Central Texas. I helped secure $60 million to help build regional warehouses to expedite emergency response. Many thanks to Chief Nim Kidd and staff for excellent work.
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Chancellor Sharp and Chief Kidd were joined by members of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents: Elaine Mendoza, James R. “Randy” Brooks, and Student Regent Matilin “Mati” Rigsby. State Representatives Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (D-San Antonio), John Lujan (R-San Antonio) and Ina Minjarez (D-San Antonio), also participated in the ribbon cutting.

The warehouse is the first of eight planned facilities to open after the Texas Legislature appropriated funding to TDEM to build space to house the Strategic Texas Stockpile, which includes personal protective equipment, testing materials and supplies necessary to continue to support the state’s response to the pandemic and other disasters. Lessons learned from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response highlighted the need for Texas to maintain its own cache of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. The opening of TDEM’s planned network of facilities allows for better service to the people of Texas and an ability to more urgently usher resources where they are needed.

“Thanks to the forethought of state lawmakers, we will be prepared when the next pandemic or disaster hits,” Chancellor Sharp said. “The Texas A&M System and its newest agency, TDEM, are always ready to respond quickly, and, now, these warehouses will give us another resources to help our fellow Texans when they need us most.”

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Bexar County Judge Democratic Candidate Forum

The forum was hosted by the Bexar County Democratic Party.

All four Democratic candidates who are competing for the county’s top elected position will be participating in the two-hour forum. They include:

  • Gerard Ponce, administrator and former mayoral candidate
  • Ina Minjarez, State Representative for House District 124
  • Ivalis Meza Gonzalez, former mayoral chief of staff
  • Peter Sakai, former district court judge

With Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff’s decision not to seek reelection, voters will choose a new person to the office for the first time since 2001.

The departure has not only attracted current and former elected officials, but a few outsiders, too.

On the Democratic ticket, mayoral Chief of Staff Ivaliz Meza Gonzalez, State Rep. Ina Minjarez, former mayoral candidate Gerard Ponce and former district court judge Peter Sakai are vying for the party’s nomination. The winner will go on to face the winner of the Republican primary — small business owner and licensed peace officer Nathan Buchanan or Bexar County Pct. 3 Commissioner Trish DeBerry.

The candidate who secures the Democratic nomination would be a favorite to win the race in the general election later this year. Bexar County has not elected a Republican as county judge since 1998.

After the campaign filing deadline passed, KSAT sent each candidate a questionnaire about why they’re running for one of Bexar County’s most important elected offices. You can read their responses here.

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The races to watch in Bexar County for 2022 elections

With only a few months before primary elections, candidates across Bexar County are ramping up their campaigns.

Several consequential county offices are up for grabs, including Bexar County Judge and district attorney.

Early voting for the primary begins on Feb. 14, with election day slated for March 1. The deadline to register to vote is Jan. 31.

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Bexar County Judge candidates tell KSAT why they’re running

State Rep. Ina Minjarez (Democrat)

Why are you running for Bexar County Judge?

I am running for County Judge because I have the experience and qualifications to address our most important priorities – economic growth, traffic and infrastructure, and community health and safety.

We are one of the fastest growing areas of the country – nearly 100 new people move to Bexar County every single day. This provides economic growth opportunities and expands our employee talent pool but it also presents challenges like increased traffic, rising housing costs, and strains on infrastructure, schools, and government services as we grow.

I have worked to address all these issues as a State Representative for the past six years, and I helped secure over $1 billion in state funding, this year alone, to address those and other crucial priorities. And I also co-sponsored a bill to provide over $60 million in property tax relief for Bexar County homeowners, if voters approve the measure next May.

Judge Nelson Wolff has served us well for the last 20 years. The momentum he helped foster and the solid foundation he laid leave Bexar County well prepared for the challenges and opportunities we face. I have a proven record of delivering for Bexar County and that’s exactly the kind of leadership our community needs at this important juncture in our history.

I am running to continue providing effective leadership with real results. It’s what I’ve done as State Representative and what I’ll continue to do as County Judge.

What are the most pressing issues facing the county today?

The most pressing issues facing the county are economic growth, traffic and infrastructure, and community health and safety. We need to prepare and address the explosive growth experienced by Bexar County over the past two decades, all while proactively addressing five key areas to position Bexar County as the driver of Texas’ economic growth:

  • Promoting Affordable Living and Reducing Property Taxes:
    • Audit county expenditures to cut wasteful spending, eliminate duplicative programming, and safeguard taxpayer dollars.
    • Streamline county departments and services to maximize services and minimize costs to Bexar County taxpayers.
  • Facilitating Access to Economic Opportunities:
    • We need meaningful property tax relief for families who call Bexar County home.
    • Generational poverty…lifting people out of poverty. We do that, we thrive economically.
  • Paving Access to Affordable, Quality Health Care:
    • Invest in innovative programs at University Health to reduce reliance on expensive emergency rooms and bring down the cost of health care in Bexar County.
    • Focus on community and mental health initiatives that enable all those who live in Bexar County to contribute to our community to the best of their abilities.
    • Institute preventive healthcare programs that increase wellness, walkability, and well-being to maximize the overall health of those who live in Bexar County before they enter our healthcare system.
  • Improving Public Safety and Access to Justice:
    • Increase Neighborhood Safety.
    • Implement Programs to reduce domestic violence and deter abusers.
    • Innovate and invest in our local foster care system to prevent unnecessary removals and promote family reunification, if possible. •
  • Paving Sustainable Economic Development and Infrastructure:
    • Promote transportation and infrastructure solutions to minimize traffic, easing the way for our county’s growing population, and maximize our flood control and drainage systems.
    • Ensure long-lasting, sustainable growth in suburban areas that aligns with Bexar County’s economic needs and fosters quality of life for those who currently call Bexar County home and those who will move ultimately move here.
    • Build upon Bexar County’s extraordinary broadband network to fuel business creation and job growth for everyone from rural Bexar County to downtown San Antonio.

What are the biggest opportunities for Bexar County over the next four years?

  • Attracting well-paying jobs and fostering educational and vocational opportunities across the board, from trade school to our higher education institutions, to retain Bexar County’s youth and equip them with the skills so they will contribute to our current and future economic prosperity.
  • Fanning the flames of Bexar County’s growing tech industry by leveraging our affordable living, unique culture and position Bexar County as a new destination for the nation’s tech talent.
  • Centering University Hospital as a model for healthcare quality, access, and affordability throughout the county, state, and country.
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Ina Minjarez changes direction with Bexar County judge run

After a grueling two years marked by a pandemic and a winter storm, state Rep. Ina Minjarez said she has become disillusioned with her impact at the Texas Capitol.

“No matter what policies that I think matter — like fixing the grid or health care, things that really matter to this community — I can’t get them done up there,” she said. “We just don’t have the votes to get them done. And when [Republican] leadership decides what’s going to come to the floor, what bills are going to come to the floor, it’s their decision, not mine.”

So when the San Antonio Democrat heard that Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff would not run for a sixth term, her ears perked up.

“I want to come home and I feel this is an opportunity that I can take my skill set and be effective and actually get things done for Bexar County,” Minjarez told the San Antonio Report on Tuesday.

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Rep. Ina Minjarez running for Bexar County judge in 2022

State Rep. Ina Minjarez on Monday announced her candidacy to replace Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, who is not running in the coming election.

Minjarez, whose Texas House District 124 includes parts of the West and far West sides, posted a message on Twitter, including a video, describing her motivation to run for county judge.

On her campaign website, Minjarez cites several examples of active involvement in Bexar County, including advocating to allocate $7.5 million to the Morgan’s Wonderland Multi-Assistance Center project to provide services to children and adults with disabilities, and to secure $3.5 million for the University of Texas at San Antonio’s foster care pilot program to help children aging out of the foster care system attend college. She also sits on several local boards.

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‘Rookie Of The Year’ Ina Minjarez Announces Candidacy For Bexar County Judge

State representative Ina Minjarez who has fought for Texas’ families throughout her career, announced Monday afternoon that she would be running for Bexar County Judge. 

Minjarez won a special election for her seat in 2015, and with only 30 days at the Capitol, she began her fight for women and children across Texas. By the end of the 85th Legislative Session -her first full session- she was named “Rookie of the Year” by Texas Monthly and received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Department of Defense for her leadership in policy changes that benefit Military Service members.

As part of her legislative career, she has successfully helped pass legislation that has shaped foster care reform in Texas, laws that have enhanced healthcare services, and family and child welfare initiatives. 

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State Rep. Ina Minjarez announces run for Bexar County judge

SAN ANTONIO – A state lawmaker from San Antonio announced Monday her intention to run for Bexar County judge.

State Rep. Ina Minjarez, a Democrat who represents District 124, made it official to seek the county’s top elected office in a news release.

Minjarez said her decision to lead the Bexar County Commissioner’s Court comes after an exploratory committee spent the past few weeks seeking input from residents and supporters.

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Representante estatal Ina Minjarez se postula para Juez del Condado Bexar

Minjarez, demócrata que representa al Distrito 124 en la Legislatura de Texas, realizó el anuncio este lunes.

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San Antonio representative Ina Minjarez joins Bexar County Judge race

San Antonio representative Ina Minjarez announced her candidacy for Bexar County Judge on Monday, November 15. Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said he wouldn't run for re-election in 2022 in October.  

Minjarez formed an exploratory committee last month to evaluate if she would run for the seat. In a news release, Minjarez said she made the decision to run after hearing feedback from the community on how to continue to improve Bexar County.

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Rep. Ina Minjarez announces run for Bexar County Judge

SAN ANTONIO — State Representative Ina Minjarez announced she is running for Bexar County Judge.

This comes after Judge Nelson Wolff said he would not be seeking re-election.

Minjarez says she decided to run after speaking with community members and supporters. In a news release, she said she wants to focus on public safety, economic growth, housing and tax relief.

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