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Commissioners Court begins process to fill vacant county judge seat

County commissioners are taking steps to replace County Judge Veronica Escobar following the announcement she is going to run for Congress.

According to the law, once Escobar announced her candidacy for U.S. Representative for Texas’ 16th Congressional district, she resigned from her duties as county judge.

Although her seat is considered vacant, Escobar will remain as a holdover, according to law. She will be able to exercise all rights as county judge as long as she serves in the position or until she is replaced.

“It would be my hope that my successor would honor the work that the court has done,” Escobar said tearfully. “We have been for the most part very united for the vision of the organization.”

Minimum requirements state the person filling the vacancy must be 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen, a registered voter, not convicted of any felonies and a resident of the county for at least six months.

“I feel a tremendous sense of obligation to leave the county in as good hands as possible,” Escobar said.

The court can either appoint someone immediately, appoint a successor at a specific date or make no appointment, in which case, Escobar will serve out the remainder of her term as holdover.

“If it doesn’t look as if there is a consensus on any recommendations, then I think we should come up with a process to fill the vacancy and (select someone) who would be privileged to work with all of you,” Escobar said.

Prior to meeting in executive session, the judge stated that she had someone in mind to fill her vacancy, but said she was open to hear other recommendations from the court.

“I have thought about who could serve in this capacity until an election or until the end of the term and I do have an idea,” Escobar said. “I do want you to know I have thought about it a lot because this organization is important to me.”

The court remains in executive session discussing the options to move forward. More updates to come.

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