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

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Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff announced in October he would not seek reelection for a sixth term in 2022, so the race is on to replace him with seven GOP and Democratic candidates in the running.

Four candidates will be on the Democratic primary ballot: former children’s court judge Peter Sakai, state Rep. Ina Minjarez, mayoral chief of staff Ivalis Meza Gonzalez, and former mayoral candidate Gerardo "Gerard" Ponce.

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.

Sakai, whose decades-long work to improve the welfare of children and families has been nationally recognized, resigned from his position overseeing the 225th District Court last year. Sakai promises to bring “civility, dignity and respect” to the Commissioners Court, touts an “unmatched depth of county-wide experience” and says he would focus on enhancing public services for all Bexar County residents.

Gonzalez worked in the office of San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg for multiple years, was promoted to chief of staff in June 2020 and served on the Mayor's Commission on the Status of Women. She was named 2021 Woman of the Year by the San Antonio Business Journal, and is endorsed by Mayor Nirenberg, Congressman Joaquin Castro and former state Sen. and Rep. Leticia Van de Putte.

The winner of this Democratic primary will face either Trish DeBerry or Nathan Buchanan, Republican candidates for County Judge, in the general election.

Where do each of these candidates stand on the big issues facing Bexar County?

What are their qualifications to be the next County Judge?

Which Democrat will voters choose to advance to the general election?

Early voting begins Monday, Feb.14, and ends Friday, Feb. 25. Primary Election Day is March 1. Click here for more info.


Candidate Gerard Ponce did not meet TPR’s participation eligibility requirements.
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*This interview was recorded on Thursday, February 10. 

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