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Within days of the resignation, county commissioners appointed Precinct 4 Constable Eddie Guerra to fill the sheriff's chair until voters had their say in November.
"How can you lead men and women with guns and everything when you've never put on a uniform," he asked, in reference to Morales Martinez.
As a precinct chair, Morales Martinez said she would not vote in the nomination process. But her relationships with the 52 other voters could help.
"Look, the sheriff is, like you say, the top lawman in the county," she said. "If you look at the position, though, it is a political position. You run for it. And it's an administrative position. Not having a peace officer's license, I don't see it as an obstacle."
And his appearance with Precinct 3 Constable Larry Gallardo in a campaign ad for Texas Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman, who was running for the Republican nomination for attorney general, couldn't have helped his appeal to Democratic Party activists.
In an interview last week, she said her seeking to become the first female sheriff in Hidalgo County history New Era Chicago Bears would not be a major factor in the executive committee's decision.
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"After (Monday) we're going to be a little bit more aggressive," Guerrero said.
Trevio's timing, after the March 4 primary, meant county Democrats could not hold a primary to nominate a candidate. Instead, the party's executive committee 52 elected precinct chairs and newly elected County Chair Ric Godinez will have sole power to choose one of the five candidates who have applied for the job.
Once the field is set, Godinez said he can Nike Hats For Womens
we started to add more people, people began to realize we have a choice," Godinez said.
"I'd like to make some changes here, but again, I'm only the interim sheriff. I'd like to have the power of the elected sheriff," he said. He declined to mention specific changes he'd like to make.
Those five applicants are: Guerra, attorney Nereyda Morales Martinez, Valley Metro Security President Frank Guerrero, San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez and La Joya Police Chief Geovani Hernandez. Monday.
for the nominating process, which he would like to finish by the time the state party convention begins June 26.
"When we saw it, both of us said 'Man, that really wasn't the message that we wanted to put out,' especially him bashing the Obama administration," Guerra told The Monitor last week. "We were both pretty upset about it, but it was already too late."
Guerra said he's already been told by precinct chairs they'll support his candidacy. He declined to give an exact number, but said it was between 10 and the necessary 27 needed to secure the nomination.
After that, the real politicking begins.
Guerra used the first few weeks on the job to hold several events meeting with people throughout the county. And while those events and his appointment may have given him an early advantage, enough quality candidates have joined the field to give the precinct chairs options.
"The application deadline is just a deadline so that we know what the field is," he said Sunday.
5 vie for Democratic nod for Hidalgo County sheriff
Guerrero founded Valley Metro Security in 2001. The private company employs about 500 people and provides contracted security services around the Rio Grande Valley. The company also operates a private immigration detention facility near Buffalo, New York, Guerrero said in an interview last month.
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He's touted himself as a political outsider unafraid to shake up the command personnel at the Sheriff's Office something Guerra has not fully committed to.
Trevio resigned in late March amid an investigation that preceded his guilty plea to federal money laundering charges. He is set to be sentenced next month.
"I feel I've got the advantage being the interim sheriff because the chairs already have seen what I'm capable of doing as sheriff," Guerra said.
Not having a peace officer's license would present no challenges, she said.
Nereyda Morales Martinez, a criminal and family law attorney, is a unique candidate in three respects: she's the only woman running for the office, she's the only one without a peace officer's license and she's the only one who is a Democratic precinct chair.
"When you look at the whole package, which I know that they are being very careful in looking at everything, they see before them a qualified woman," she said. "I happen to be female, of course, but they see a qualified person to be a sheriff."
But Guerrero, who worked as a sheriff's deputy for five years, said that wouldn't hold true in practice.
"I've called every single precinct chair," she said. "I think that's the obvious thing to do."
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