Governor Greg Abbott publicly endorsed two Republican candidates from the Rio Grande Valley for the Texas 13th District Court of Appeals.

Although all of the six judges currently serving on the 13th District Court of Appeals are Democrats, with four positions vacant for the 2018 general election, Gov. Abbott has endorsed Jaime Tijerina and Ernie Aliseda for the 2018 election season.

As Republican officials are focusing on the region’s capability of turning “red”, the RGV now has two hopeful and highly decorated candidates who have an extensive and reputable list of experiences from both the public and private sector, making them strong contenders.

“I’ve been a Republican since 1980, when I drove [while in college] all the way from San Antonio to McAllen to vote for Ronald Reagan,” recalls Jaime E. Tijerina.

A native of McAllen, Jaime E. Tijerina, received his juris doctor degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University and is also a graduate from U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the University of Texas Pan American. A Bronze Star Medal recipient and lieutenant colonel in the US Army Reserve, Tijerina was appointed as Judge of the 92nd District Court by Texas Gov. Rick Perry in 2012 to fill a vacancy. He was recently appointed by Abbott to fill the vacancy on the 93rd District Court, which was previously held by  his opponent for 13th Court of Appeals Place 4, former Judge Rudy Delgado. Delgado is currently facing federal bribery charges concerning the 93rd District Court.

Previously, Tijerina was employed as Kenedy County Attorney between 2000-2012. He has served on various executive boards ranging from the RGV Food Bank, (President) University of Texas Pan American Alumni Association, Hidalgo County Young Lawyers Association, as former member and chair of the State Bar of Texas District 13 Grievance Committee, has been elected as fellow to the Texas Bar Foundation and to the Texas Prosecutor’s Society and was recently invited to the UTRGV Alumni Advisory Council.

Tijerina currently serves as city attorney for Mission, Texas.

“Jaime Tijerina is the voice we need now more than ever…he will serve the law of Texas as dutifully as he has served his country,” said Abbott.

Meanwhile, Judge Ernest “Ernie” Aliseda, like his counterpart, currently serves as a lieutenant colonel in the US Army Reserves where he acts as a Military Judge in the Judge Advocate Corps. Aliseda also is a municipal court judge for the City of McAllen and a member of the national law firm Dykema Cox Smith. After his resignation as Commissioner on the Governor’s Texas Military Preparedness Commission, he was appointed in 2013 by Gov. Perry to the UT-System Board of Regents for a six-year term. He was also appointed by Gov. Perry in 2004 to serve as Judge for 139th State District Court and earlier by Gov. Bush in 1999, to the 398th State District Court. He brings seventeen years of judicial experience to his candidacy for Chief Justice of the 13th District Court of Appeals. He received his bachelors from Texas A&M University and his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center; additionally, he is licensed to practice law in Texas, Illinois and before the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

“I have been a Republican all my life,” Aliseda states. His brother, former State Rep. Jose Aliseda (R-Beeville), won the 2010 election for the Texas House Legislature to the surprise of many and was rated with a B+ on the 2011 Fiscal Responsibility Index.

Gov. Abbott stated Aliseda, “has answered the call to serve our country, state and his community as a soldier and public servant…he is a strong leader with years of experience as a State District Judge, Municipal Judge and Army Trial Judge.”

The 13th District Court of Appeals covers twenty counties: Aransas, Bee, Calhoun, Cameron, De Witt, Goliad, Gonzales, Hidalgo, Jackson, Kenedy, Kleberg, Lavaca, Live Oak, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, Wharton, and Willacy.

Early voting begins Monday, October 22.

Miriam Cepeda

Miriam Cepeda is the Rio Grande Valley Bureau Chief for Texas Scorecard. A second-generation Mexican American, she is both fluent in English and Spanish and has been influential in grassroots organizing and conservative engagement within Hispanic communities. If you don’t find her “Trumping”, you can find her saving animals, running her dog, hiking the Andes, or volunteering with the U.S. National Park Service.