Four local candidates file late finance reports

SAN BENITO — Filing proper paperwork and following the rules is a key component of earning credibility when running for elected office.

Four of five candidates in local races have had some trouble with filing late campaign finance reports.

One candidate actually has filed late twice for the March 6 primary.

In the race for Precinct 3’s justice of the peace, incumbent Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Ronaldo “Ronnie” Garcia and Nadine Gonzalez all filed late reports, according to the Cameron County Elections Department.

In March 2017, Cameron County commissioners appointed Jesus Garcia, an attorney, to the post following the death of Justice of the Peace Guadalupe Ayala.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo Garcia is a former school board member while Gonzalez is a housewife.

In the race for Cameron County Court-At-Law No. 2 judge, Carol Lynn Sanchez, an attorney who serves as a San Benito city commissioner, has filed two late reports.

Sanchez filed her report due Feb. 5 on Thursday afternoon, Elections Administrator Remi Garza said.

Meanwhile, Garza said, Ronaldo Garcia’s report due Jan. 16 was not filed until Jan. 29.

Documents show Gonzalez filed her Feb. 5 report on Feb. 8 while Jesus Garcia filed his Feb. 12.

Although it is not uncommon for candidates to file late campaign reports, citizens can file complaints requesting the Texas Ethics Commission review such matters, Ian Steusloff, the commission’s general counsel, said.

Steusloff said the commission can impose penalties of up to $5,000 for late filings.

Big war chest

In the two local races, Laura Betancourt, who is running for re-election to the county Court-At-Law No. 2 post, has amassed the biggest campaign war chest.

Betancourt, an attorney first elected to the post in 2006, collected more than $22,700 in political contributions, most from attorneys in Brownsville and Harlingen, her reports show.

Contributions included

• $500 from Jesus Canales of Brownsville

• $250 from Oscar De La Fuente of Harlingen

• $250 from Mary Agado of Harlingen

• $500 from Curtis Bonner of Harlingen

• $500 from Esparza & Garza of Brownsville

• $250 from David Kithcart of Harlingen

• $1,000 from Marion R. Lawler III of Brownsville

• $250 from Victor R. Ramirez of Brownsville

• $2,500 from Bigum Law Group of Brownsville

• $500 from Rigoberto Flores Jr. of Brownsville

• $250 from Hamilton & Lucio of Brownsville

• $250 from Noemi Garcia-Martinez of Brownsville

• $250 from Garza & Elizondo of Brownsville

• $250 from Aguilar & Zabarte of Brownsville

• $250 from Fabian Limas Jr. of Brownsville

• $250 from Larry Mark Polsky of South Padre Island

• $500 from Julio Ledesma of Brownsville

• $500 from Salvador Garcia of Brownsville

• $1,000 from Ruben R. Peña of Brownsville

• $250 from Hodge & James of Harlingen

• $500 from Adams & Graham of Harlingen

• $2,500 from Roerig, Oliveira & Fisher of Brownsville

• $500 from Thornton, Biechlin, Reynolds & Guerra of McAllen

• $200 from Carlos Cisneros of Brownsville

• $250 from Edmund Keith Cyganiewicz of Brownsville

• $500 from Robert Davis Jr. of Harlingen

• $250 from Ismael Hinojosa of Browsnville

• $250 from Noe Alaniz of San Benito

• $250 from Pronto Bail Bonds of Brownsville

• $250 from Jason Mann of Harlingen

• $250 from Garza & Garza of Brownsville

• $250 from McCullough & McCullough of Harlingen

• $1,000 from Leonardo Rincones of Brownsville

• $100 from Maria Linda Gonzalez of Brownsville

• $500 from John Robert Williamson of Brownsville

• $100 from Norma Esquivel of Browsville

• $100 from Barry R. Benton of Brownsville

• $100 from Lyza Gonzalez of Brownsville

• $1,000 from Ignacio G. Martinez of Brownsville

• $250 from Esteban Gonzales of San Benito

• $500 from Reynaldo G. Garza Jr. of Brownsville

• $250 from Albert Garcia of Harlingen

• $1,000 from Lenny Cavazos of Port Isabel

• $50 from Debbie Cox of Brownsville.

Sanchez’s contributions were limited to $2,500 from Jorge Green of Brownsville.

In the race for Precinct 3’s justice of the peace, Jesus Garcia listed no contributions.

Nadine Gonzalez listed $500 from Nonito Plata Jr. of San Benito as her only contribution.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo Garcia’s contributions included:

• $250’ from Paul Gonzales of Harlingen

• $300 from Pat Kornegay of San Benito

• $250 from Tudor and Helen Uhlhorn of Harlingen

• $125 from Martha S. Uhlhorn of Harlingen

• $125 from Julie Uhlhorn Allen of Harlingen.

Cameron County Court-At-Law No. 2

Laura Betancourt, incumbent

Carol Lynn Sanchez

Cameron County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace

Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, incumbent

Nadine Gonzalez

Ronaldo “Ronnie” Garcia