Gonzales wins in Willacy; DeLuna heads for runoff

RAYMONDVILLE — Amid several close races, Willacy County Commissioner Eduardo Gonzales won a second term in Tuesday’s primary while incumbent Oscar DeLuna will face former Commissioner Noe Loya in a runoff.

There are no Republicans on November’s general election ballot, so that means Tuesday’s winners will take office.

In the race for the commission’s Precinct 4 seat, Gonzales, a retired state bridge inspector, received 287 votes to defeat Ramiro Vela Jr., a warehouse manager, who fell short with 270 votes in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

Meanwhile, DeLuna, San Perlita’s former longtime mayor, received 332 votes while Loya, a farmer, pulled 242 votes to go onto the May 22 runoff. Richard Flores III, a school district transportation director, fell short with 214 votes.

In May 2014, DeLuna won his seat with a victory over Loya.

County clerk race

Voter interest appeared to focus on the county clerk’s race after incumbent Terry Flores, who had served in the office since 1981, retired Jan. 31.

Last month, commissioners appointed Chief Deputy Clerk Susana Rios Garza, whom Flores recommended for job, to serve as interim clerk.

Tuesday night, Garza received 756 votes while

Jacob Quilantan, the county’s assistant treasurer, took 703 votes to go into the runoff. Frances Zamorano-Najera, the county’s veterans department clerk, fell short with 445 votes.

Precinct 1 justice of the peace race

In the race for Precinct 1’s justice of the peace position, Jessica Ann Rosas, a receptionist, received 504 votes to defeat George Solis, who took 484 votes.

Rosas will replace incumbent Yesenia Rosas, her sister-in-law.

Last year, Solis, commander of the local American Legion post, retired after serving 10 years as Precinct 2’s justice of the peace.